Tag Archives: dynamics

Why Warmer Winters Don’t Always Help Geese

Contrasting consequences of climate change for migratory geese: Predation, density dependence and carryover effects offset benefits of high-arctic warming (2019) Layton-Matthews et al., Global Change BiologyDOI: 10.1111/gcb.14773

The Crux

Most of us know that climate change will bring warmer, shorter winters to most parts of the world. For many species in areas like the Arctic, it would be easy to interpret this as a good thing – plants grow earlier, so animals get more food, right? Naturally it’s never that simple. Many herbivorous species have evolved in sync with climate cycles so that their reproduction peaks when food becomes available. If season start dates change, these species may not be able to change their own cycles in time. Additionally, what happens if populations of their predators suddenly boom?

Today’s authors wanted to know what role a warming climate played in the population fluctuations of migratory barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis).

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Andrew Hendry: The Changing Views and Speeds of Evolution

The word evolution generally conjures images of millenia-long timescales. Maybe the 15 million years it took for whales to evolve, or the 2.5 million years it took to get from Australopithecus to modern humans. But over the last few decades, scientists have begun to realise that some forms of evolution can take place over much shorter timescales. Leading this field has been Professor Andrew Hendry, author of Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics, a “masterful, comprehensive synthesis treating most of today’s hot topics in ecology and evolution”.

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