Manual Migration of Organisms: Climate, Geography, Ecology

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Studies in metacommunity ecology seek to understand how habitat patchiness structures species interactions.


  • Environmental Policy Integration;
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  • Climate change and biodiversity.

Two particularly relevant species interactions that may be altered as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation serve to illustrate critical links between spatial ecology and conservation. In both of these examples, human manipulation of the spatial arrangement of land cover and land uses has affected the ways in which species interact with one another. First, a vital ecological interaction for plants is the mutualistic relationship between plants and their pollinators Figure 3 , which may also be affected by a variety of mechanisms that stem from changes in habitat spatial characteristics.

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Studies of agricultural landscapes in California, for example, have shown that the abundance and diversity of native pollinators, and their contribution to pollination, is strongly influenced by spatial characteristics of the landscape. The patches of native habitat provide critical nesting and foraging habitat for native bees, so the abundance and diversity of bees is higher at these farms.

The scope of migration

Second, the transmission and spread of infectious diseases is largely a function of interactions within and among species within ecological communities. Recent research reveals that losses of biological diversity caused by habitat loss and fragmentation may increase the risk of several well-known, vector-borne diseases that are shared between humans and wildlife. For example, recent increases in human incidence of malaria, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus are all associated with declines in species richness caused by landscape change.

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In these cases, habitat loss and fragmentation have reduced the abundance and richness of predators and competitors from ecological communities, causing an increased abundance of competent host species and thus increased pathogen prevalence. There is a clear warning that, as we reduce biological diversity, we are compromising the ability of natural systems to dilute pathogens, as well as increasing our own exposure to infectious diseases.

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Chase, J. Towards a really unified theory for metacommunities.


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Functional Ecology 19, — Collinge, S. Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes.

Delcourt, H. Dynamic plant ecology: the spectrum of vegetational change in space and time. Quaternary Science Reviews 1, — Foster, D. Human or natural disturbance: landscape-scale dynamics of the tropical forests of Puerto Rico. Ecological Applications 9 , — Hanski, I. Metapopulation Biology. Holyoak, M.

Metacommunities: Spatial Dynamics and Ecological Communities. Jules, E. A broader ecological context to habitat fragmentation: why matrix habitat is more important than we thought. Journal of Vegetation Science 14, — Kremen, C. Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99, Leibold, M. The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecology Letters 7, — Levin, S. Disturbance, patch formation and community structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 71, — Pickett, S.

The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics. Tilman, D. Spatial ecology: the role of space in population dynamics and interspecific interactions.

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Migration of Organisms - Climate. Geography. Ecology | Ashraf M.T. Elewa | Springer

Turner, M. Landscape heterogeneity and disturbance. Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern on process. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 20, — Urban, D. Landscape ecology. BioScience 37, — Watt, A. Pattern and process in the plant community. Journal of Ecology 35, 1—22 Wiens, J. Population responses to patchy environments. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 7, 81— The emerging role of patchiness in conservation biology.

Global Change: An Overview. Conservation of Biodiversity. Introduction to the Basic Drivers of Climate. Tropical Weather. Terrestrial Biomes. Causes and Consequences of Dispersal in Plants and Animals. Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Declines. Disease Ecology. Coastal Dunes: Geomorphology. Coastal Processes and Beaches. Drip Water Hydrology and Speleothems.

Earth's Earliest Climate. El Nino's Grip on Climate. Large-Scale Ecology Introduction. Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change. Modeling Sea Level Rise. Ocean Acidification. Rivers and Streams - Water and Sediment in Motion. Principles of Landscape Ecology. Spatial Ecology and Conservation. Restoration Ecology. Energy Economics in Ecosystems. Earth's Ferrous Wheel. The Ecology of Fire. How do habitat loss and fragmentation affect species and ecosystems? Spatial ecology investigates the immense variety of spatial patterns in nature and their ecological consequences.

Aa Aa Aa. Definition and Scope of Spatial Ecology. Spatial Ecological Theory. In Australia the climate is expected to become significantly warmer. CSIRO scientists predict that by average temperatures will rise above levels by around 0. On a continent already as warm as Australia, such an increase could have major ecological impacts. The number of extreme rainfall events—such as those leading to flooding—is also expected to increase, even though overall, most of the country is expected to become drier in the 21 st century.

To estimate the effect of climate change on species, scientists use what they call a climatic envelope sometimes also referred to as a bioclimatic envelope , which is the range of temperatures, rainfall and other climate-related parameters in which a species currently exists. As the climate warms, the geographic location of climatic envelopes will shift significantly, possibly even to the extent that species can no longer survive in their current locations. Such species will need to follow their climatic envelopes by migrating to cooler and moister environments, usually uphill or southwards in the southern hemisphere.

Marine species will also need to adapt to warmer ocean temperatures. There are several well documented cases of climate-induced shifts in the distribution of plants and animals in the northern hemisphere , but less information is available for southern hemisphere species.

In many cases, however, such migration might not be possible because of unfavourable environmental parameters, geographical or human-made barriers and competition from species already in an area.