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野生动物们能够适应气候变化吗?

Can wildlife adapt to climate change? - Erin Eastwood

日渐升高的温度和海平面
Rising temperatures and seas,
严重的干旱
massive droughts,
变化的地形
changing landscapes.
这一切都让使成功适应气候变化的能力变得更为重要
Successfully adapting to climate change is growing increasingly important.
对于我们人类来说 是使用先进的科技
For humans, this means using our technological advancement
去找寻解决的方案
to find solutions,
例如更加智能的城市和更加完善的水资源管理
like smarter cities and better water management.
但是对于动物和植物来说
But for some plants and animals,
要想适应这些变化 需要最为古老的方式那就是
adapting to these global changes involves the most ancient solution of all:
进化
evolution.
进化通常需要几亿
Evolutionary adaptation usually occurs along time scales of thousands
甚至是几十亿年的时间
to hundreds of thousands of years.
但是在例如急速的气候变化之类的极其严苛的淘汰环境下
But in cases where species are under especially strong selective conditions,
物种正在
like those caused by rapidly changing climates,
进行着迅速的进化
adaptive evolution can happen more quickly.
在最近的几十年里
In recent decades,
我们见证了很多植物
we’ve seen many plants,
动物
animals,
昆虫的迁移
and insects relocating themselves
他们经历了体型大小的变化
and undergoing changes to their body sizes,
以及开花、繁殖时间的变化
and the dates they flower or breed.
但是对于个体的生理特征来说 许多变化都是可塑的
But many of these are plastic,
即不能够遗传的变化
or nonheritable changes to an individual’s physical traits.
而且一个生物体为了适应环境要求
And there are limits to how much an organism can change its own physiology
所能改变自己生理机能的能力是有限的
to meet environmental requirements.
这就是为什么科学家们正在从物种的DNA中找寻进化的例子
That’s why scientists are seeking examples of evolutionary changes
这些进化出来的变化是可遗传的
coded in species’ DNA that are heritable,
是持久的
long-lasting,
并且对物种的未来意味着很多
and may provide a key to their future.
以灰林鸮为例
Take the tawny owl.
如果30年前 你行走在北欧寒风刺骨的森林里
If you were walking through a wintry forest in northern Europe 30 years ago,
你可能看不到这种难觅踪迹的鸟
chances are you’d have heard, rather than seen,
而只可能听到它们的声音
this elusive bird.
在白雪的背景下
Against the snowy backdrop,
它们的羽毛难以被发现今天
its plumage would have been near impossible to spot.
情况大为不同
Today, the landscape is vastly different.
自从上世纪80年代
Since the 1980s,
气候变化导致降雪量急剧减少
climate change has led to significantly less snowfall,
但你还是很难找到灰林鸮
but you’d still struggle to spot a tawny owl
因为现在它们变成棕色了
because nowadays, they’re brown.
这种棕色变异是这种物种的显性性状
The brown color variant is the genetically dominant form of plumage in this species,
但历史上
but historically,
是浅灰色隐性性状占了上风
the recessive pale gray variant triumphed
因为这些有选择性的特殊的优势 这些捕食者得以融入环境但是
because of its selective advantage in helping these predators blend in.
降雪量减少让它们的伪装效果下降
However, less snow cover reduces opportunities for camouflage,
所以在最近的自然选择里
so lately, this gray color variant
灰色变异只占了下风然而
has been losing the battle against natural selection.
那些有着棕色变异的后代
The offspring of the brown color morphs, on the other hand,
在暴露的森林里具有优势
have an advantage in exposed forests,
棕色的灰林鸮越来越多
so brown tawny owls are flourishing today.
其他的一些物种在最近几十年也经历了类似的
Several other species have undergone
适应气候变化的变异
similar climate-change-adaptive genetic changes in recent decades.
猪笼草蚊快速地进化
Pitcher plant mosquitoes have rapidly evolved
它们越来越晚的进入冬眠
to take advantage of the warmer temperatures,
以利用更加温暖的天气
entering dormancy later and later in the year.
之前有同等数量
Two spot ladybug populations,
黑色和非黑色变异的二星瓢虫
once comprised of equal numbers of melanic and non-melanic morphs,
现在完全变成了非黑色
have now shifted almost entirely to the non-melanic color combination.
科学家认为这有利于使它们身体温度不会过高
Scientists think that keeps them from overheating.
与此同时 那些通过更早产卵来保护脆弱的卵的细磷大马哈鱼
Meanwhile, pink salmon have adapted to warmer waters
适应了更加温暖的水域
by spawning earlier in the season to protect their sensitive eggs.
欧洲的野百里香分泌了更多的防护油
And wild thyme plants in Europe are producing more repellent oils
来保护自己免受因为温暖天气产生的
to protect themselves against the herbivores
越来越多的食草动物的侵扰
that become more common when it’s warm.
这些物种属于一个有20种明确物种的种群
These plants and animals belong to a group of about 20 identified species
这些物种有着包括蛇鳄龟在内的
with evolutionary adaptations to rapid climate change,
为了适应气候变化而产生进化的物种
including snapping turtles,
如林蛙
wood frogs,
紫菀科植物
knotweed,
以及银斑弄蝶然而
and silver spotted skipper butterflies.
科学家们希望在地球上的八千七百万物种中
However, scientists hope to discover more species evolving
发现更多帮助适应气候变化的物种进化
in response to climate change out of 8.7 million species on the planet.
因为对于我们星球珍贵惊人的生物多样性来说
For most of our planet’s astounding and precious biodiversity,
进化不是最终的答案反之
evolution won’t be the answer.
很多物种需要依靠我们
Instead, many of those species will have to rely on us
去帮助它们在一个变化的世界生存下来否则
to help them survive a changing world
它们将会灭亡
or face extinction.
好消息是我们已经有了一些工具
The good news is we already have the tools.
全球范围内 我们已经做出了一些实实在在的决定
Across the planet, we’re making on-the-ground decisions
那些决定将会帮助整个生态系统去适应
that will help entire ecosystems adapt.
那些受气候变化影响极大的气候“难民”正在被鉴定和保护
Critical climate refuges are being identified and set aside,
那些帮助迁徙物种的计划正在进行
and projects are underway to help mobile species
它们可以迁徙到更加合适的气候环境中去
move to more suitable climates.
现有的公园和保护区正在开展气候变化调查
Existing parks and protected areas are also doing climate change check-ups
来帮助野生动物适应
to help their wildlife cope.
幸运的是 这一切还在我们的控制之内
Fortunately, it’s still within our power
我们还能够保护这个星球上奇异的生物多样性
to preserve much of the wondrous biodiversity of this planet,
毕竟它们正在通过各种方式支持着我们人类的生存
which, after all, sustains us in so many ways.

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCKRjP_DMII

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