Assessing global change effects across terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms poses a challenge due to the multitude of factors influencing species distributions as well as heterogeneous species sampling data. In their recent study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, Diana Bowler from BiK-F and colleagues tackled this challenge and analysed more than 1000 population time-series in Central Europe, ranging from algae to mammals across the three realms.
IGB was part of this joint effort by providing freshwater species data. The authors found how warming climates have led to an increase in warm-dwelling species over the past 30 years. This effect was strongest in terrestrial communities, while a weaker effect was found within the aquatic realms, showing that changes in ambient temperature have a direct impact on species population sizes. In addition, the authors found a relative increase of freshwater species preferring low nutrients, suggesting a response to improved water quality.