Analyzing the possible effects of climate change still remains a major enigma for both ecologists and environmentalists alike. It is known that extreme hot weather anomalies are becoming more and more prevalent as shown by temperature outliers greater than 3σ now occur in almost 10% of the world’s surface as compared to less than 1% during 1951-1981 (Hansen et al. 2012). Since 1880 the combined land and ocean temperature has increased by about 0.85°C. Additionally the concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O in the atmosphere have increased by 40%, 150%, and 20% respectively since the pre-industrial era. The total radiance forcing for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.29. This positive integer means that current atmospheric conditions are leading to an uptake of solar energy that is virtually trapped in our climate system. CO2 emissions alone account for an Rf of 1.68. If these conditions of unregulated emissions continue to occur by the end of the 21st century the global surface temperature change is likely to exceed 1.5°C (Stocker et al.2013).
So what effects do these weather anomalies have on ecosystems and food webs? How will species and individuals adapt to this climate change? These are all questions we will address based on past literature by ecologists who have studied species interactions in stable environments. We will hypothesize the affects climate change will have on the ecological aspects of individual behavior, population interactions, food webs, and biodiversity.
While we can think of ecosystems as a collection of organisms, individuals within these groups each have their own role in maintaining and preserving this system. These roles are determined by their physiological traits, behaviors, diets, and relationships with other individuals. Most individuals, especially plants, have a positive relationship between their body mass and lifespan. This relationship is typically described as organisms having a lifespan to the power ¼ of the body mass (Marba et al. 2007). Individuals with small body mass, a short lifespan, and high reproductive rates are usually referred to as R-selected species, while the opposite are referred to as K-selected species.
Mating is a behavior that varies from organism to organism, but still tries to accomplish the same goal, continuance or growth of the species population size. One unusual behavior is that of the ocellated wrasse, because the females display female copying mate choice. This is when females choose a mate based on observations of other females mating, not on the traditional means of male traits. Mate choice helps species decide the fittest individuals to carry on the species genome. This is one of the main drives behind evolution.
I hypothesize that if current climate change continues R-selected species will be favored over K-selected species, and the changes in sea levels will require aquatic species to be more selective for traits that allow them to adapt to these changes....