Climate Change In Animals

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There have been many concerns on reproduction and climate change in relation to animals and plants. How will they react ecologically and genetically to a changing climate? There are many documented cases now of disturbed seasonal patterns because of climate change in plants, insects, amphibians and birds (Parmesan 2007) and a mismatch between the seasonal peak in births and the peak of foraging conditions has been seen in a number of animals. One of these animals is yellow-bellied marmots of the Rocky Mountains. They are emerging 38 days earlier from hibernation than they did 28 years ago but now when they emerge the snow is far too deep for them to forage for herbs successfully (Inouye et al. 2000). Marmots have one very short breeding season…show more content…
In this essay, I am going to discuss how plants and animals have adapted in relation to seasonal reproduction and photoperiod and the effect of climate change on them. Seasonal reproduction is common among most species. Photoperiodism is the physiological reaction organisms have to the length of day or night. Photoperiodism can also be defined as the developmental responses of plants and animals to the relative lengths of light and dark…show more content…
2004; Bradshaw & Holzapfel 2007). The ability to do this requires endogenous timing mechanisms as well as circuits linking the retina to the GnRH secreting neurons so that the change in light can be recognize. An interval timer that measures time in months is used by some species with short-life expectancies. Paul et al. (2008) has described this kind of timer to an hourglass, stating that measures a set period of weeks or months from a starting point in time. An example of this is the Syrian hamsters who starts breeding in the spring and ceases breeding in the autumn. This because their testes regress sharply when day length falls below a critical threshold of 12.5 hours, this happens in late summer and brings an end to the breeding season. Reproductive activity returns after an endogenously generated period of photorefractoriness, this period of time is determined by the hourglass timer noted above (Herbert
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