JDR Vol.3 No.2 pp. 98-104
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2008.p0098


Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity

Hiroyoshi Higuchi

Laboratory of Biodiversity Science, School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan

November 11, 2007
November 14, 2007
April 1, 2008
climate change, phenology, distribution, biological interaction, regime shift

Rising temperatures brought about by global warming are causing plants to bloom and leaf earlier, and advancing the start of animal breeding seasons. The ranges of some species of plants and animals are also being shifted northwards or to higher elevations. In cities, the heat island effect is raising temperatures still further, accelerating the flowering of plants. The degree of such phenological changes, and of the range in shifts, varies according to species and group, resulting in the distortion or mismatch of biological interactions such as predation, pollination, seed dispersion and parasitism. Rising sea levels due to the rising temperatures is destroying tidal wetlands and wiping out coral reefs and, consequently, killing off the various organisms that live there. It has been predicted that if warming continues, sudden and drastic changes will occur in the structure and functioning of ecosystems around the world, including in Japan, and that such regime shifts, which cannot easily be reversed, will be frequent. These ecological changes would affect a variety of aspects of human life such as housing, diet and health.

Cite this article as:
Hiroyoshi Higuchi, “Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.3, No.2, pp. 98-104, 2008.
Data files:
  1. [1] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), “Climate Change 2007: Physical Science Basis,” Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergov ernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007.
  2. [2] H. Higuchi, “Global warming and the crisis of biodiversity,” Kagaku, 78, pp. 460-468, 2008 (in Japanese).
  3. [3] A.Menzel, T. H. Sparks, N. Estrella, et al., “European phonological response to climate change matches the warming pattern,” Global Change Biology, 12, pp. 1969-1976, 2006.
  4. [4] H. Doi, “Winter flowering phenology of Japanese apricot Prunus mume reflects climate change across Japan,” Climate Research, 34, pp. 99-104, 2007.
  5. [5] R. Watanabe, “The impact of global warming on plant phenology at the Shiga Heights in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan-Annual changes in the leafing and yellow coloring of Erman’s birch (Betula ermanii) monitored by camera at a fixed point in 1986-2004,” Research Report of Shinshu University Shiga Field Station, 43, pp. 13-16, 2006 (in Japanese).
  6. [6] Y. Aono, “Assessment of urban warming using plant phenology,” Proc. of Int. Symposium on Monitoring and Management of Urban Heat Island, Fujisawa, pp. 111-123, 1997.
  7. [7] H. Q. P. Crick, C. Dudley, D. E. Glue, and D. L. Thomson, “UK birds are laying eggs earlier,” Nature, 386, p. 526, 1997.
  8. [8] W. Winkel and H. Hudde, “Long-term trends in reproductive traits of tits (Parus major, P. caeruleus) and Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca,” Journal of Avian Biology, 28, pp. 187-190, 1997.
  9. [9] J. L. Brown, S-H. Li, and N. Bhagabati, “Long-term trend toward earlier breeding in an American bird: a response to global warming?,” Proc. of National Academy of Science USA, 96, pp. 5565-5569, 1999.
  10. [10] S. Koike, G. Fujita, and H. Higuchi, “Climate change and the phenology of sympatric birds, insects, and plants in Japan,” Global Environmental Research, 10, pp. 167-174, 2006.
  11. [11] A. J. Miller-Rushing, T. L. Lloyd-Evans, R. B. Primack, and P. Satzinger, “Bird migration times, climate change, and changing population sizes,” (in press).
  12. [12] M. Yoshio and M. Ishii, “Photoperiodic response of two newly established populations of the great mormon butterfly, Papilio memnon L. (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae), in Shizuoka and Kanagawa Prefectures, central Japan,” Transaction of Lepidoptera Society of Japan, 55, pp. 301-306, 2004.
  13. [13] M. S. Warren, J. K. Hill, J. A. Thomas, et al., “Rapid responses of British butterflies to opposing forces of climate and habitat change,” Nature 414, pp. 65-69, 2001.
  14. [14] Y. Li, N. Maruyama, M. Koganezawa, and N. Kanzaki, “Wintering range expansion and increase of sika deer iin Nikko in relation to global warming,” Wildlife Conservation Japan, 2, pp. 23-35, 1996 (in Japanese).
  15. [15] H. Nakamura, “Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus japonicus,” Japanese Journal of Ornithology, 56, pp. 93-114, 2007 (in Japanese).
  16. [16] C. Parmesan, “Influences of species, latitudes and methodologies on estimates of phenological response to global warming,” Global Change Biology, 13, pp. 1860-1872, 2007.
  17. [17] C. Both, S. Bouwhuis, C. M. Lessells, and M. E. Visser, “Climate change and population declines in a long-distance migratory bird,” Nature, 441, pp. 81-83, 2006.
  18. [18] H. Kuwahara, S. Akeda, S. Kobayashi, A. Takeshita, Y. Yamashita, and K. Kido, “Predticted changes on the distribution areas of marine organisms around Japan caused by the global warming,” Global Environmental Research, 10, pp. 189-199, 2006.
  19. [19] M. Scheffer, S. Carpenter, J. A. Foley, C. Folke, and B. Walker, “Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems,” Nature, 413, pp. 591-596.
  20. [20] M. Scheffer and S. Carpenter, “Catastrophic regime shifts in ecosystems: linking theory to observation,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 18, pp. 648-656.
  21. [21] Nature Conseravtion and Restoration Committee of the Science Council of Japan, “Proposal toward the revision of the national strategy for biodiversity,” The Science Council of Japan, 2007,

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 05, 2021