Biodiversity and Climate ChangeBiodiversity and Climate Change
- a summary of impacts in the UK


Climate change affects biodiversity in many ways. Impacts on species include changes in distribution and abundance, the timing of seasonal events and habitat use and, as a consequence there are likely to be changes in the composition of plant and animal communities. Habitats and ecosystems are also likely to change character by, for example, showing altered water regimes, increased rates of decomposition in bogs and higher growth rates in forests.


Biodiversity also has an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. For example, soils, forests and oceans hold vast stores of carbon. The way managed habitats are used will affect how much of that carbon is released in gaseous form into the atmosphere. How we address climate change and maintain healthy ecosystems so that they provide ecosystem goods and services essential for human well-being is now a key challenge for society. Understanding the ongoing impacts of climate change on ecosystems is an essential prerequisite to addressing this challenge.


This booklet covers impacts in the marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments.  It brings together information from published sources to give an overview of the evidence of climate change impacts on the natural environment of the UK.




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