Research Needs

Improve understanding of the effects of climate change and impacts of enhanced CO2 on ecosystems, ecosystem services, and biodiversity. Given the complexity of the impacts of different scenarios of climate change and elevated CO2 levels on ecosystem function, services, and biodiversity, further research is needed to evaluate the consequences of multiple interacting changes. For example, movement of species, changes in phenology and synchronicity, changes in productivity and carbon cycling processes, and changes in disturbance regimes in response to temperature, moisture, and CO2 have not been well assessed, especially at regional scales. Enhanced capacity for linking models of physical change in the climate system to species response models would help meet these challenges. Research is also needed to identify those ecosystems, ecosystem services, species complexes, and people reliant on them that are most resilient or most vulnerable (see Box 9.2).

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