Global Change Biology

Cover image for Vol. 23 Issue 7

Edited by: Steve Long

Impact Factor: 8.502

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 1/53 (Biodiversity Conservation); 5/229 (Environmental Sciences); 6/153 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2486

Associated Title(s): GCB Bioenergy

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Global Change Biology exists to promote understanding of the interface between all aspects of current environmental change that affects a substantial part of the globe and biological systems.

The journal publishes primary research articles, technical advances, research reviews, commentaries and letters.

Global Change Biology defines global change as any consistent trend in the environment - past, present or projected - that affects a substantial part of the globe. Examples include:

Global Change BiologyAvian palaeogenetics of climate change

Highlight: Habitats are likely to change in the coming years due to global warming, especially in northern areas, affecting a variety of animal species and populations. In order to determine whether native species will be able to adapt to the changing climate, this study analyzed ancient DNA from two common cold-adapted bird species to investigate how they respond to climate warming. Their predictions show that progressive global warming will make some habitats unsuitable. This could lead to local extinctions, despite population survival over the last 20 millennia, unless these populations can adapt to their new environment.

Global Change BiologyImpacts of permafrost thaw on peatland carbon

Highlight: There are many uncertainties about the peatlands and how they will be affected by thawing permafrost. One third of the total atmospheric carbon is stored in permafrost peatlands and is at risk for reintroduction to the atmosphere as global warming increases and the permafrost thaws. This study used a series of peat cores and a mass balance modeling approach to examine the role of thawing permafrost on peat carbon stocks from two interior Alaska peatlands. They found that roughly one third of organic carbon is lost from the peatland in the years to decades following permafrost thaw. The amount of carbon in a peatland prior to permafrost thaw dictates the rate at which peat carbon stocks are recovered, with older peatlands containing more carbon recovering their stocks more slowly, only attaining their pre-thaw carbon stocks after several millennia.

Global Change BiologyTraits of native and invasive aquatic species

Highlight: Invasive species are able to thrive in a new habitat based on certain traits that allow them to fill a new niche or make them more competitive than their native counterparts. Since many waterways are connected, invasive species can easily be transported from one environment to another unintentionally. This global meta-analysis of aquatic ecosystems compared the traits of native and non-native species under common conditions. The authors identified key traits, such as enhanced consumption and growth, which can be associated with aquatic biological invasions. They recommend that studies consider trophic traits when predicting future range shifts of invasive species since these traits show complex mechanisms that could impact their movement.

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