Subterranean ecosystems (e.g., caves, groundwaters, fissure systems) are often overlooked in global climate change and conservation agendas. This contrasts with their widespread distribution, rich biodiversity, and importance to humans as providers of multiple ecosystem services. Worryingly, evidence is accumulating regarding diverse biological alterations in subterranean ecosystems under climate change exposure. Yet, we lack quantification of the magnitude of these impacts across scales and ecosystem components. Here, we assembled a dataset covering 347 measurements of climate change impact at the organismal physiology, behavior, population/community, and habitat levels. Through a meta-analysis, we showed that climate change effects act at gene to community levels with varying strength and direction depending on habitat, taxa, and degree of subterranean specialization. By building a nuanced understanding of the multi-level impacts of climate change on subterranean ecosystems, our analysis underscores the vulnerability of different ecosystem components, providing a supported rationale for their incorporation into conservation agendas through targeted measures.

A global meta-analysis reveals of climate change on subterranean ecosystems

Vaccarelli, I;Galassi, DMP;Di Cicco, M;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Subterranean ecosystems (e.g., caves, groundwaters, fissure systems) are often overlooked in global climate change and conservation agendas. This contrasts with their widespread distribution, rich biodiversity, and importance to humans as providers of multiple ecosystem services. Worryingly, evidence is accumulating regarding diverse biological alterations in subterranean ecosystems under climate change exposure. Yet, we lack quantification of the magnitude of these impacts across scales and ecosystem components. Here, we assembled a dataset covering 347 measurements of climate change impact at the organismal physiology, behavior, population/community, and habitat levels. Through a meta-analysis, we showed that climate change effects act at gene to community levels with varying strength and direction depending on habitat, taxa, and degree of subterranean specialization. By building a nuanced understanding of the multi-level impacts of climate change on subterranean ecosystems, our analysis underscores the vulnerability of different ecosystem components, providing a supported rationale for their incorporation into conservation agendas through targeted measures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/224560
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