This week’s Georgia Climate Project Roadmap question addresses the need for more research on how human-induced changes in land use changes, urbanization, agriculture, and introduction of exotic species will affect native ecosystems and biodiversity. You can see all the Roadmap questions at https://roadmap.georgiaclimateproject.org/.
8. How will the effects of multiple human-induced stressors affect species distribution and biodiversity change across Georgia?
Why this question is important: Changes in species composition caused by climate change may affect Georgia’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, influencing biodiversity, species interactions, and ecosystem processes. Species distributions across latitude and altitude are changing globally as a result of climate change (e.g., Parmesan 2006; Møller et al. 2008; Burrows et al. 2011). The species gained and lost may bring new challenges, such as the introduction of new pathogen and pest species (Cable et al. 2017). Further, these changes are occurring in the context of other human-caused stresses, such as habitat loss and pollution, which may exacerbate climate-related stresses (Holyoak and Heath 2016; Noyes et al. 2009). A summary of existing data, tools, and research on this topic in Georgia can further inform decisionmakers and can serve as a basis for further research.