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Historically Robust Natural Ecosystems Could Collapse Due to Climate Change, Human Activity

August 11, 2016 |


“Global change will strike the oldest and most complex ecosystems of the world hardest, regardless of their past stability. This alarming finding is reported in a JRC-led article published in Nature Communications.

The authors hypothesized that invasive species, the warming climate and environmental degradation have altered natural habitats so deeply that species adaptation to historical conditions may not be helpful under these new circumstances. Interestingly, the authors found independent support for this hypothesis from both computer simulations and real-world data.

Starting from a single ancestor digital organism, the authors let artificial life communities evolve for hundreds of thousands of generations under different, stable environmental settings. These simulated communities included both free-living and ‘parasite’ digital organisms that helped researchers investigate how biodiversity and ecological networks develop over time, under different environmental conditions. Over several generations, both hosts and parasites diversified, and their interactions became more complex…”

Read on at: Science Daily

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