PerspectiveEcology

Communities Under Climate Change

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Science  25 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6059, pp. 1070-1071
DOI: 10.1126/science.1214833

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Summary

The distribution of species on Earth and the interactions among them are tightly linked to historical and contemporary climate, so that global climate change will transform the world in which we live. Biological models can now credibly link recent decadal trends in field data to climate change, but predicting future impacts on biological communities is a major challenge. Attempts to move beyond general macroecological predictions of climate change impact on one hand, and observations from specific, local-scale cases, small-scale experiments, or studies of a few species on the other, raise a plethora of unanswered questions. On page 1124 of this issue, Harley (1) reports results that cast new light on how biodiversity, across different trophic levels, responds to climate change.