Apr 10, 2014

Cold truths: how winter drives responses of terrestrial organisms to climate change

Williams CM, Henry HA, Sinclair BJ
Biological Reviews
  • States winter is a key driver of individual performance, community composition, and ecological interactions in terrestrial habitats
  • States changes to winter temperatures, the variability of winter conditions, and winter snow cover can interact to induce cold injury, alter energy and water balance, advance or retard phenology, and modify community interactions
  • Synthesizes organismal responses to winter climate change, and use this synthesis to build a framework to predict exposure and sensitivity to negative impacts
  • States this framework can be used to estimate the vulnerability of species to winter climate change
  • Describes the importance of relationships between winter conditions and performance during the growing season in determining fitness, and demonstrate how summer and winter processes are linked