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Climate change and insectivore ecology

Vafidis, Jim, Smith, Jeremy and Thomas, Robert 2019. Climate change and insectivore ecology. eLS , -. 10.1002/9780470015902.a0028030

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Abstract

The impacts of climate change on natural pop-ulations are only beginning to be understood.Although some important changes are alreadyoccurring, in the future these are predicted tobe more substantial and of greater ecologicalsignificance. Insects are a key taxonomic groupfor understanding the ecological impacts of cli-mate change, due to their responsiveness toenvironmental change and importance as foodfor other organisms. Insects are highly sensitiveto rising temperatures, changes in rainfall pat-terns and erratic weather conditions, driving rapidshort-term variations in their abundance, mobil-ity, distribution and phenology. Such variationsrepresent changes in their availability as preyto insectivores, a diverse range of insect-eatinganimals that include mammals, fish, amphib-ians, reptiles and birds. The impacts of thesechanges on the ecology of insectivores are com-plex and include population increases or decreases,broad-scale shifts in distribution, and changesin behavioural traits such as foraging strategy,investment in parental care, and the timing ofbreeding and migration. Although some insectiv-orous species are able to respond to – and evenbenefit from – climate change, those that fail torespond appropriately may struggle to reproduce,disperse and survive, leading to population declineand ultimately, to extinction.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2019 07:07
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/126432

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