- Jul 07 2022
- 12:00 pm
BBCW Lunchtime Expedition: Can Behavior Help Species Cope with a Changing Climate?
Rapid climate change is one of the defining conservation issues of the 21st century. Continued warming is predicted for the remainder of the century and likely beyond. Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an organism to respond to its environment with a change in form, behavior, or movement, may provide species with a mechanism to keep pace with changing conditions. Despite increased research on the rate at which species can adjust to climate change, the degree to which behavioral plasticity allows species to buffer climate variability remains unclear.
Embere Hall’s research examines whether behavioral plasticity may allow climate-sensitive wildlife like the pika (Ochotona princeps) to persist in changing conditions. Pikas are an ideal study species because they are sensitive to surface temperatures and are one of the only vertebrates active year-round in montane systems, where some of the most extreme climate changes are occurring.
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