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Early Warning Signals Detect Catastrophic Impacts of Experimental Warming

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Title: Early Warning Signals Detect Catastrophic Impacts of Experimental Warming
Author: Jarvis, Lauren
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: McCann, Kevin
Abstract: With climate change projected to raise Earth’s surface temperatures by ~1-4°C over the next century, the future of global biodiversity and ecosystem stability with warming is a heated topic in research and the media. Threats of thermal pressure have fuelled major progress in the field of physiological trait responses to warming, yet it remains for us to integrate how the dynamics of populations approaching thermal limits might enable us to predict an impending collapse with warming. Here, we seek the integration of trait performance theory with that of critical tipping points to investigate the behaviour of common early warning signals in anticipation of a thermally-induced extinction event. We find that an experimental system under thermal pressure displays the phenomenon of critical slowing down as temperature thresholds are approached, suggesting the ability to detect the onset of population collapse with warming.
Date: 2014-10
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