Ecological Impacts of Climate Change

By PLOS Collections | The ecological impacts of climate change are broad and diverse, altering species' range limits, plant phenology and growth, carbon and nutrient cycling, as well as biodiversity and extinction risk. Recent PLOS articles have used a variety of experimental and observational approaches to examine these impacts. The broad range of papers within this Collection emphasize not only the multi-faceted impacts of climate change on ecological and human systems, but also the breadth and depth of research on these subjects being reported in PLOS journals.

The 2014 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection - EveryONE

Post authored by Collection Curator Ben Bond-Lamberty

The impacts of climate change on global ecology, in its many forms and fields, were well …

Climate Change

What Ecologists Are Most Worried About Right Now: 5 Emerging Trends in Climate Change Ecology

When scientists publish an analysis of the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems and people, the language used can sound terribly distant and cold. In truth, the tone of these studies reflects the tone of science but not the feelings of scientists.

Ecologists studying the impacts of …


Vulnerability of Mediterranean Ecosystems to Long-Term Changes along the Coast of Israel

1. Sala OE, Chapin III FS, Armesto JJ, Berlow E, Bloomfield J, et al. (2000) Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287: 1770–1774. …


Threats from Climate Change to Terrestrial Vertebrate Hotspots in Europe

1. Brook BW, Sodhi NS, Bradshaw CJA (2008) Synergies among extinction drivers under global change. Trends Ecol Evol 23: 453-460. …


Biotic and Human Vulnerability to Projected Changes in Ocean Biogeochemistry over the 21st Century

1. Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M (2007) The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the …

Plants, Birds and Butterflies: Short-Term Responses of Species Communities to Climate Warming Vary by Taxon and with Altitude

1. Parmesan C (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 37: …


Growth and Phenology of Three Dwarf Shrub Species in a Six-Year Soil Warming Experiment at the Alpine Treeline

1. Chapin III FS, Mcguire AD, Randerson J, Pielke R, Baldocchi D, et al. (2000) Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components …

Climate Change

Growth-Mortality Relationships in Piñon Pine (Pinus edulis) during Severe Droughts of the Past Century: Shifting Processes in Space and Time

1. Van Mantgem PJ, Stephenson NL, Byrne JC, Daniels LD, Franklin JF, et al. (2009) Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United …


Tree Migration-Rates: Narrowing the Gap between Inferred Post-Glacial Rates and Projected Rates

1. Higgins SI, Clark JS, Nathan R, Hovestadt T, Schurr F, et al. (2003) Forecasting plant migration rates: managing uncertainty for risk assessment. …

Life Sciences

Land Use Compounds Habitat Losses under Projected Climate Change in a Threatened California Ecosystem

1. Parmesan C (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 37: 637–669. …


Water Stress Strengthens Mutualism Among Ants, Trees, and Scale Insects


Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species …


Assessing the Effects of Climate on Host-Parasite Interactions: A Comparative Study of European Birds and Their Parasites

1. Price PW (1980) Evolutionary biology of parasites. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

2. Bush AO, Fernández JC, Esch GW, Seed JR (2001) …


Pathogen-Host Associations and Predicted Range Shifts of Human Monkeypox in Response to Climate Change in Central Africa

1. Patz JA, Campbell-Lendrum D, Holloway T, Foley JA (2005) Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438: 310–317. doi: …


Signals of Climate Change in Butterfly Communities in a Mediterranean Protected Area

1. Hickling R, Roy DB, Hill JK, Fox R, Thomas CD (2006) The distributions of a wide range of taxonomic groups are expanding polewards. Global Change …


Designing Optimized Multi-Species Monitoring Networks to Detect Range Shifts Driven by Climate Change: A Case Study with Bats in the North of Portugal

1. Macdonald DW, Service K (2007) Key Topics in Conservation Biology. Macdonald DW, Service K, editors Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

2. Rands MRW, Adams …


Individualistic Population Responses of Five Frog Species in Two Changing Tropical Environments over Time

1. MacArthur RH (1972) Geographical ecology, patterns in the distribution of species. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 269 p.

2. Parmesan C …


Coevolution and the Effects of Climate Change on Interacting Species

1. Bertrand R, Lenoir J, Piedallu C, Riofrio-Dillon G, de Ruffray P, et al. (2011) Changes in plant community composition lag behind climate warming …

How to Decide Whether to Move Species Threatened by Climate Change


Introducing species to areas outside their historical range to secure their future under climate change is a controversial strategy for …


Preferred Habitat of Breeding Birds May Be Compromised by Climate Change: Unexpected Effects of an Exceptionally Cold, Wet Spring


Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing …

Climate Change

The cultures endangered by climate change - Neuroanthropology

By Greg Downey

The Bull of Winter weakens

In 2003, after decades of working with the Viliui Sakha, indigenous horse and cattle breeders in the Vilyuy …


Rare today, gone tomorrow? - At the Interface

The ecological impacts of climate change are likely to be varied and widespread, and a PLOS collection of papers on this topic, published this week, …


Supersized study: citizen science finds grebe that some feared losing - CitizenSci

There are many ways to be uppity in today’s world: stand up, step up, cowboy up, get fired up, stirred up, or simply wake up. Now consider a new one: …

Citizen Science

Climate Change Means Good Times for Microbial Hitchhikers: The Expanded Range of a Deadly Mosquito - Public Health

In her third guest post here in the Public Health Perspectives blog, science writer Linda Marsa discusses a paper in the PLOS “Ecological Impact of

Climate Change

Coffee Plants Don’t Like It Hot - EveryONE

Guest blogger Atreyee Bhattacharya is a science correspondent and climate scientist, currently a research affiliate at the Department of Earth and

Climate Change

Azat et al. PLOS ONE. 2013.

Announcing the Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection - EveryONE

Post authored by Collection Curator Ben Bond-Lamberty

The ecological impacts of climate change are broad and diverse, and include alterations to …

Climate Change

Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals


Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on biodiversity, including increasing extinction rates. Current approaches to quantifying such …

Climate Change

Concentrations of species that are both climate change vulnerable and threatened by non-climate stressors

Rare Species Support Vulnerable Functions in High-Diversity Ecosystems

1. Gaston KJ (1994) Rarity. London: Chapman & Hall. 192 p.

2. Hartley S, Kunin WE (2003) Scale dependency of rarity, extinction risk, and conservation …