Special Issue "Animal Response to Climate Change"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 4145

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeanne M. Fair
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Biosecurity and Public Health, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
Interests: ecoimmunology; epidemiology; environmental toxicology
Prof. Dr. Martha Desmond
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA
Interests: grassland systems and associated species

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Both fauna and flora will either adapt, or not, to environmental changes as a result of a rapidly changing climate. Both animals and plants will be limited by life history traits, the genetic structure of populations, and the geographic boundaries that surround subpopulations, and sometimes, entire species. Impacts on animals will be different, depending on the regional effects from climate change, such as in the arctic or deserts, where animals are already living at their limits for reproduction and survival. However, there are no regions on Earth that will be untouched by climate change, from the oceans to the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin. While some animal species are able to move, through migration seasonally or through range expansion, other species are limited geographically. Wildlife is most often thought of for the impacts from a changing climate; however, domestic animals can also be affected. Although some consequences of climate change are well documented, future changes to ecosystem health, and the health of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, are less understood. This includes the impacts on vector borne and zoonotic diseases and it is important to understand those changes in a “One Health” context of the environment, animals and humans. Documenting changes in phenology, life history traits, species interactions within communities, and population and individual health within species, will be critical for understanding how animals will adapt, or not, to a rapidly changing climate. The goal of this Special Issue is to complement our knowledge on and deepen our understanding of the responses of domestic and wild animals to climate change.

We invite the submission of original scientific reports, review articles, commentary, and perspective pieces on how a rapidly changing climate and environment are either directly or indirectly affecting wild and domestic animals.

Dr. Jeanne M. Fair
Prof. Dr. Martha Desmond
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • adaptation
  • animals
  • wildlife
  • One Health

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Temperature and Salinity on Growth, Metabolism and Digestive Enzymes Synthesis of Goniopora columna
Biology 2022, 11(3), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030436 - 11 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Climate change is causing dramatic changes in global ocean temperature and salinity, threatening coral survival. Coral growth and metabolism are greatly affected by the temperature, salinity and feeding time of the environment. In order to explore the threats to coral survival caused by [...] Read more.
Climate change is causing dramatic changes in global ocean temperature and salinity, threatening coral survival. Coral growth and metabolism are greatly affected by the temperature, salinity and feeding time of the environment. In order to explore the threats to coral survival caused by climate change, this study will investigate the changes in body composition, digestive enzymes and metabolism of G. columna at different temperatures and salinities. A maximum G. columna growth rate was observed at 25 °C and 30–35 psu salinity. The G. columna could survive in a wide salinity range of 25–40 psu. However, the maximum number and weight of G. columna polyps was determined at 30–35 psu. Furthermore, 30–35 psu salinity at 25 °C led to the best G. columna growth and survival, mainly because of their enhanced nutrient absorption rate, polyp expansion rate, metabolic rate and adaptability. Comparing various salinity-temperature treatment groups, all obtained values for growth, behavior and metabolism were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for 30 psu at 25 °C than other treatment groups resulting in maximum G. columna yield. In addition, the optimal timing of G. columna feeding was assessed by studying changes in body composition and digestive enzymes within 24 h of feeding. The results showed that G. columna has higher protein and protease activity between 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Therefore, at 25 °C, 30–35 psu and feeding will enhance G. columna growth and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Response to Climate Change)
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Article
Response to Climate Change: Evaluation of Methane Emissions in Northern Australian Beef Cattle on a High Quality Diet Supplemented with Desmanthus Using Open-Circuit Respiration Chambers and GreenFeed Emission Monitoring Systems
Biology 2021, 10(9), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090943 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of supplementing beef cattle with Desmanthus virgatus cv. JCU2, D. bicornutus cv. JCU4, D. leptophyllus cv. JCU7 and lucerne on in vivo methane (CH4) emissions measured by open-circuit respiration chambers [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of supplementing beef cattle with Desmanthus virgatus cv. JCU2, D. bicornutus cv. JCU4, D. leptophyllus cv. JCU7 and lucerne on in vivo methane (CH4) emissions measured by open-circuit respiration chambers (OC) or the GreenFeed emission monitoring (GEM) system. Experiment 1 employed OC and utilized sixteen yearling Brangus steers fed a basal diet of Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay in four treatments—the three Desmanthus cultivars and lucerne (Medicago sativa) at 30% dry matter intake (DMI). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was added to the diets to neutralize tannin binding and explore the effect on CH4 emissions. Experiment 2 employed GEM and utilized forty-eight animals allocated to four treatments including a basal diet of Rhodes grass hay plus the three Desmanthus cultivars in equal proportions at 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% DMI. Lucerne was added to equilibrate crude protein content in all treatments. Experiment 1 showed no difference in CH4 emissions between the Desmanthus cultivars, between Desmanthus and lucerne or between Desmanthus and the basal diet. Experiment 2 showed an increase in CH4 emissions in the three levels containing Desmanthus. It is concluded that on high-quality diets, Desmanthus does not reduce CH4 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Response to Climate Change)
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Article
Adaptation of an Invasive Pest to Novel Environments: Life History Traits of Drosophila suzukii in Coastal and Mainland Areas of Greece during Overwintering
Biology 2021, 10(8), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080727 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Drosophila suzukii is a polyphagous pest of small and soft fruit, originating from Asia, which has spread and established in Europe and the USA. Adults exhibit seasonal phenotypes, i.e., summer morphs (SM) and winter morphs (WM) to cope with fluctuating environmental conditions. WM [...] Read more.
Drosophila suzukii is a polyphagous pest of small and soft fruit, originating from Asia, which has spread and established in Europe and the USA. Adults exhibit seasonal phenotypes, i.e., summer morphs (SM) and winter morphs (WM) to cope with fluctuating environmental conditions. WM have a darker cuticle and larger wings compared to SM, while WM females experience reproductive dormancy. We studied the life history traits (lifespan, female reproductive status and number of produced offspring) of WM and SM that were exposed to winter field conditions of a coastal and a mainland agricultural area, with mild and cold winter climates, respectively. Mated adults of each phenotype were individually placed in vials bearing nutritional/oviposition substrate, and transferred to the field from November 2019 to May 2020, when the death of the last individual was recorded. Almost all SM females (90%) and no WM female carried mature ovarioles before being transferred to the field. WM exhibited a longer lifespan than SM adjusting for location and sex. Differences in survival between the two phenotypes were more pronounced for adults kept in the mainland area. The majority of SM females produced offspring during overwintering in the mild coastal area, but only a few SM were reproductively active in the cold mainland area. Some WM females produced progeny during overwintering in the mild conditions of the coastal area, but all WM females were in reproductive arrest in the mainland area. Overwintering females in the coastal area had a shorter lifespan and produced more progeny than those kept in the mainland area. High survival rates of WM provide indications of the successful performance of this phenotype in the adverse conditions of the cold climates. Additionally, the continuous reproductive activity of SM females and the onset of progeny production by WM females during overwintering in the coastal area indicate that the insect remains reproductively active throughout the year in areas with mild climatic conditions. Our findings support the successful adaptation of D. suzukii in both areas tested and can be used for the development of area-specific population models, based on the prevailing climatic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Response to Climate Change)
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Review

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Review
Heat Stress Responses in Birds: A Review of the Neural Components
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111095 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Heat stress is one of the major environmental conditions causing significant losses in the poultry industry and having negative impacts on the world’s food economy. Heat exposure causes several physiological impairments in birds, including oxidative stress, weight loss, immunosuppression, and dysregulated metabolism. Collectively, [...] Read more.
Heat stress is one of the major environmental conditions causing significant losses in the poultry industry and having negative impacts on the world’s food economy. Heat exposure causes several physiological impairments in birds, including oxidative stress, weight loss, immunosuppression, and dysregulated metabolism. Collectively, these lead not only to decreased production in the meat industry, but also decreases in the number of eggs laid by 20%, and overall loss due to mortality during housing and transit. Mitigation techniques have been discussed in depth, and include changes in air flow and dietary composition, improved building insulation, use of air cooling in livestock buildings (fogging systems, evaporation panels), and genetic alterations. Most commonly observed during heat exposure are reduced food intake and an increase in the stress response. However, very little has been explored regarding heat exposure, food intake and stress, and how the neural circuitry responsible for sensing temperatures mediate these responses. That thermoregulation, food intake, and the stress response are primarily mediated by the hypothalamus make it reasonable to assume that it is the central hub at which these systems interact and coordinately regulate downstream changes in metabolism. Thus, this review discusses the neural circuitry in birds associated with thermoregulation, food intake, and stress response at the level of the hypothalamus, with a focus on how these systems might interact in the presence of heat exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Response to Climate Change)
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