Biodiversity is defined as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.”
However talking about the impacts of Climate Change on biodiversity we can take into consideration the main factors affected: Temperature increase, Drought susceptibility, Precipitation fluctuation and Winds increase
Temperature change impacts growth, reproduction, and distribution of lake and stream biodiversity in addition to marine life disruptions. It’s increase impacts
- Quality of surface water: decrease dissolved oxygen, and increase of algal bloom, bacterial content and fungal levels.
- Nutrients: Rapid warming –> higher organic inputs (due to accelerated loss of nutrients) affect marine and lake productivity.
- 2degC: Loss of some ecosystems including areas of high biodiversity
- Invasive Species: threat to biodiversity and native fauna and flora. Alien species are species that when they occur outside of their natural range, have high dispersal potential.
- Plankton: Under warmer seasons, plankton will appear faster and more often.
- Animals: Roughly, 10% of species will face an increasingly high risk of extinction for every 1°C rise in global mean surface temperature (up to an increase of about 5°C).
- Vegetation: mountain vegetation could suffer more because of increased evapotranspiration.
Dry spells indicate time periods of no precipitation and no rain what-so-ever, leading to:
- Land degradation and desertification.
- Changes in breeding cycles of certain species that depend on water for their breeding cycle.
- Fires: Increase susceptibility
Some areas would show increased precipitation and some would have significant decrease in precipitation that would lead to:
- Flow of rivers: Decreased flow.
- Changes in growth and development of species
- Water turbidity: Increases in cases of intense precipitation and suspended sediments loads in summer.
- Coral Reefs: reduce visibility to near zero, impacting plant and animal species’ functioning
- Wetlands: Elimination of wetland species and reduction in income of people who are dependent on wetlands
4. Extreme Winds:
- Water turbidity: Increase due to dust sedimentation
- Nutrient load: Increase due to increase in fertilization of watersheds
- Destruction of selected terrestrial habitats
- Easier spreading of fires