Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 22462.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022462

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Complex relationships and feedback mechanisms between climate change and biodiversity

Xin Jing1,*(), Shengjing Jiang1, Huiying Liu2, Yu Li1, Jin-Sheng He1,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystem, and College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020
    2. School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    3. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2022-08-11 Accepted:2022-09-27 Online:2022-10-20 Published:2022-10-06
  • Contact: Xin Jing


Background and Aims: Climate change and biodiversity loss are two major changes that human society is experiencing. Climate change affects all aspects of biodiversity and is a major driver of biodiversity loss; in turn, biodiversity loss exacerbates climate change. Therefore, halting or even reversing climate change and biodiversity loss is a global issue that needs to be addressed by human society. However, we lack a clear understanding of the complex relationships and feedback mechanisms between climate change and biodiversity. Here, we summarize the research on climate and biodiversity change in the last decade by focusing on studies investigating the responses and feedback of biodiversity to climate change at different organizational levels, spatial scales, and diversity dimensions.
Progress: Our results showed that most studies focus on the direct impacts of climate change on biodiversity, involving different organizational levels and dimensions and trophic levels of biodiversity. Studies on the indirect impacts of climate change were rare, and we suggested that mechanistic studies need to be strengthened. The mechanisms and quantification of the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem multifunctionality were challenges for current research. There was no consensus on how biodiversity contributes to ecosystem response to climate change; the positive and negative feedback effects of biodiversity in the context of climate change were a blind spot in domestic and international research.
Prospects: The future direction and key scientific issues that need to be solved in the field of climate change and biodiversity change are numerous. We identify 4 main areas of future research: understanding (1) the impacts of multi-factor climate change on biodiversity, (2) how mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change can benefit biodiversity conservation, (3) how the theory of biodiversity and ecosystem function can be applied to the real-world ecosystems and (4) what is the contribution of biodiversity conservation to carbon neutrality goals.

Key words: climate change, multi-dimensional biodiversity, multi-scale biodiversity, ecosystem multifunctionality, feedback mechanisms