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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Rudy Boonstra

LECTURE 8 November 6, 2007 Today Future projections for vegetation. National Parks and Reserves. Now we will look at the future projections re: eco regions in the world. Actual biological impacts of climate change we are observing right now. This portion will cover the end of this one and the start of next one. I indicated the .pdf so hopefully you got that. What does the future hold for the worlds eco systems? Tree and animal species are controlled by climate. If you get shifts in climate you will have shifts in these eco systems. These are not unusual and we have seen these shifts continuously for the last 1.8 million years and in fact longer than that. There is a problem for biological life now. The first major problem is the speed at which change will occur in climate. It will be so fast it will dwarf anything seen in the past. Second major problem is that you no longer have a continuous land area to go across. It is bisected and interrupted by human changes. Movement of plants is prevented from moving up north whereas animals can at least walk to move. Dispersal at the heart of movement might not be possible so we have to create corridors for movement to occur. Most plants wont be able to maintain equilibrium with their current geographical ranges. If plants and their communities they make up and try to keep their equilibrium they will only be able to move approximately 10 kmyear. They will have to move 5 x faster than the fastest species we have seen in the past in rates of movement. Most species will have to be 50 x faster as rates observed in the past. The other thing to bear in mind is that the equilibrium where you get some sort of constancy established wont occur for about another 200 years with respect to what humans do to C02 and other greenhouse gases. On a slide last week, by in large communities are not organized like bodies or organized systems, they are individuals so if we try to use the past to predict the future, can we see something BGYC58H3F.November,6,, 2007 LECTURE 8 1
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