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Earth’s biodiversity is changing as the planet warms. But how?, UB News Center

Wilson

Maps show the distribution of tropical montane cloud forests, as estimated using cloud cover data from satellites. Satellites that observe the Earth provide many types of data about the planet’s ecosystems, and the Map Of Life will begin incorporating these data to improve geographic knowledge of where species live. Credit: Adam Wilson and Walter Jetz, PLOS Biology, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As the Earth’s climate changes, shifting weather patterns will affect where plants and animals can live.

Some species — such as polar bears, frogs and even bumblebees — may see habitats shrink. Others may be forced to relocate to new environs.

To help us understand the massive changes underway, University at Buffalo ecologist Adam Wilson is helping develop a new tool for visualizing how plant and animal populations worldwide are responding to fluctuations in climate.

Wilson, PhD, an assistant professor of geography in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, is working with the Map of Life, an online resource led by Yale University and the University of Florida. Currently, the platform enables everyone from schoolchildren to researchers to see where different species are located in the world — where plants and animals have been observed on every continent, and how far their habitats extend.

Published September 27, 2017

UB News Center

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