1932

Abstract

This review focuses on biotic responses during intervals of time in the fossil record when the magnitude and rate of climate change exceeded or were comparable with those predicted to occur in the next century (Solomon et al. 2007). These include biotic responses during: () the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum and early Eocene Climatic Optimum, () the mid-Pliocene warm interval, () the Eemian, and () the most recent glacial-interglacial transition into the Holocene. We argue that although the mechanisms responsible for these past changes in climate were different (i.e., natural processes rather than anthropogenic), the rate and magnitude of climate change were often similar to those predicted for the next century and therefore highly relevant to understanding future biotic responses. In all intervals we examine the fossil evidence for the three most commonly predicted future biotic scenarios, namely, extirpation, migration (in the form of a permanent range shift), or adaptation. Focusing predominantly on the terrestrial plant fossil record, we find little evidence for extirpation during warmer intervals; rather, range shifts, community turnover, adaptation, and sometimes an increase in diversity are observed.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144704
2011-12-01
2024-06-18
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144704
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144704
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error