Species interactions under climate change



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Species interactions under climate change

Climate is the average state of atmospheric weather at a given time scale and many factors influence it; consequently, variations in the latter cause climatic changes: variations in solar activity, in atmospheric composition, in the arrangement of continents, in ocean currents or in the earth's orbit can modify the distribution of energy and the terrestrial radiation balance, alternating so does the planetary climate.

These influences can be classified into external and internal to the Earth. The external ones are also called forcing as they normally carry out a systematic action on the climate, although there are random phenomena such as meteoritic impacts.

The anthropic influence on the climate in many cases is considered an external forcing as its influence is more systematic than chaotic, but it is also certain that man belongs to the terrestrial biosphere and can therefore be considered an internal influence according to which criterion it is applied.

The study: The importance of species interactions in eco-evolutionary community dynamics under climate change, published on the Nature communications, explained: "Eco-evolutionary dynamics are essential in shaping the biological response of communities to ongoing climate change.

Here we develop a spatially explicit eco-evolutionary framework which features more detailed species interactions, integrating evolution and dispersal. We include species interactions within and between trophic levels, and additionally, we incorporate the feature that species' interspecific competition might change due to increasing temperatures and affect the impact of climate change on ecological communities.

Our modeling framework captures previously reported ecological responses to climate change, and also reveals two key results. First, interactions between trophic levels as well as temperature-dependent competition within a trophic level mitigate the negative impact of climate change on biodiversity, emp hasizing the importance of understanding biotic interactions in shaping climate change impact.

Second, our trait-based perspective reveals a strong positive relationship between the within-community variation in temperatures preferred and the capacity to respond to climate change. Temperature-dependent competition consistently results both in higher trait variation and more responsive communities to altered climatic conditions.

Our study demonstrates the importance of species interactions in an eco-evolutionary setting, further expanding our knowledge of the interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes."