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The distributions of a wide range of taxonomic groups are expanding polewards


Rachael Hickling, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology: Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK, tel: +01487772412, e-mail:


Evidence is accumulating of shifts in species' distributions during recent climate warming. However, most of this information comes predominantly from studies of a relatively small selection of taxa (i.e., plants, birds and butterflies), which may not be representative of biodiversity as a whole. Using data from less well-studied groups, we show that a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species have moved northwards and uphill in Britain over approximately 25 years, mirroring, and in some cases exceeding, the responses of better-known groups.