Climate dipoles as continental drivers of plant and animal populations

Trends in Ecology and Evolution
By: , and 



Ecological processes, such as migration and phenology, are strongly influenced by climate variability. Studying these processes often relies on associating observations of animals and plants with climate variability indices, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. A characteristic of climate indices is the simultaneous emergence of opposite extremes of temperature and precipitation across continental scales, known as climate dipoles. The role of climate dipoles in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes has been largely overlooked. We review emerging evidence that climate dipoles can entrain species dynamics, and offer a framework for identifying ecological dipoles using broad-scale biological data. Given future changes in climatic and atmospheric processes, climate and ecological dipoles will likely shift in their intensity, distribution, and timing.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Climate dipoles as continental drivers of plant and animal populations
Series title Trends in Ecology and Evolution
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2020.01.010
Volume 35
Issue 5
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Science and Decisions Center
Description 14 p.
First page 440
Last page 453
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