Adapted behaviour and shifting ranges of species — a result of recent climate warming?

  • Gian-Reto Walther


The Earth’s climate has warmed by a mean of 0.6 °C over the last 100 years. The observed change in environmental conditions has promoted the re-evaluation of longterm data sets. The studies demonstrate that there has been systematic change in the abundance and distribution of a broad range of species, and provide convincing evidence that recent climate warming has affected biological systems. In this introduction, numerous examples of adapted behaviour and shifting ranges of species related to recent climate change are provided. These observations are neither derived from computer models nor considered as predictions for potential future impacts, but document changes which are actually occurring in the biosphere. They provide ecological evidence that organisms are responding to the recent warming trend of the past three decades and thus represent the biological “fingerprints” of climatic change.


Coral Bleaching Emperor Penguin Barnacle Goose Recent Climate Warming Acrocephalus Scirpaceus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gian-Reto Walther
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeobotanyUniversity of HannoverHannoverGermany

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