Browsing by Subject "Climate change"

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  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Haahtela, Tari; Jousilahti, Pekka; Barouki, Robert; Bergman, Åke; Billo, Nils E.; Fuller, Richard; Haines, Andrew; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Krauze, Kinga; Lanki, Timo; Vicente, Joana Lobo; Messerli, Peter; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Paloniemi, Riikka; Peters, Annette; Posch, Karl-Heinz; Timonen, Pekka; Vermeulen, Roel; Virtanen, Suvi M.; Bousquet, Jean; Antó, Josep M. (2021)
    In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission launched a report introducing a novel approach called Planetary Health and proposed a concept, a strategy and a course of action. To discuss the concept of Planetary Health in the context of Europe, a conference entitled: “Europe That Protects: Safeguarding Our Planet, Safeguarding Our Health” was held in Helsinki in December 2019. The conference participants concluded with a need for action to support Planetary Health during the 2020s. The Helsinki Declaration emphasizes the urgency to act as scientific evidence shows that human activities are causing climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, overuse of natural resources and pollution. They threaten the health and safety of human kind. Global, regional, national, local and individual initiatives are called for and multidisciplinary and multisectorial actions and measures are needed. A framework for an action plan is suggested that can be modified for local needs. Accordingly, a shift from fragmented approaches to policy and practice towards systematic actions will promote human health and health of the planet. Systems thinking will feed into conserving nature and biodiversity, and into halting climate change. The Planetary Health paradigm ‒ the health of human civilization and the state of natural systems on which it depends ‒ must become the driver for all policies.
  • Lehtonen, Anna; Salonen, Arto; Cantell, Hannele; Riuttanen, Laura (2018)
    Climate change is a wicked problem of our time. It is a phenomenon that is difficult to combat with prevailing ways of thinking and behaving related to a modern understanding of humanity and education. In this article, the challenges of sustainability education are explored from the theoretical perspective of modern dichotomies. The article argues that to combat wicked problems of sustainability, awareness of interconnectedness is vital. In order to increase the understanding of what kind of dismantling of thinking in dichotomies and why the awareness of interconnectedness and pedagogical approaches are crucial in promoting sustainability, the literature of environmental philosophy, sociology and education are brought together with the literature of sustainability sciences and sustainability education. The principles of pedagogy of interconnectedness define the critical awareness of interconnectedness vital for sustainability education dealing with the wicked sustainability issues such as climate change. The pedagogy of interconnectedness underlines the essentiality of understanding of the world and humans as relational: recognizing the interdependence of society and nature, the local and global, and seeing the common reality as socially constructed and humanness and learning in a holistic way. A case of university pedagogy, the Climate.now online course material is presented and analysed as an example of interconnecting climate change education, how to implement the principle of pedagogy of interconnectedness in practice.
  • Huttunen, Inese; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Huttunen, Markus; Sihvonen, Matti; Veijalainen, Noora; Korppoo, Marie; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina (2021)
    This paper introduces a framework for extending global climate and socioeconomic scenarios in order to study agricultural nutrient pollution on an individual catchment scale. Our framework builds on and extends Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) at the spatial and temporal scales that are relevant for the drivers of animal husbandry, manure recycling and the application of inorganic fertilisers in crop production. Our case study area is the Aura river catchment in South-West Finland, which discharges into the heavily eutrophic Baltic Sea. The Aura river catchment has intensive agriculture - both livestock and crop production. Locally adjusted and interpreted climate and socioeconomic scenarios were used as inputs to a field-level economic optimisation in order to study how farmers might react to the changing markets and climate conditions under different SSPs. The results on economically optimal fertilisation levels were then used as inputs to the spatially and temporally explicit nutrient loading model (VEMALA). Alternative manure recycling strategies that matched with SSP narratives were studied as means to reduce the phosphorus (P) overfertilisation in areas with high livestock density. According to our simulations, on average the P loads increased by 18% during 2071-2100 from the current level and the variation in P loads between scenarios was large (from & minus;14% to +50%). By contrast, the nitrogen (N) loads had decreased on average by & minus;9% (with variation from & minus;20% to +3%) by the end of the current century. Phosphorus loading was most sensitive to manure recycling strategies and the speed of climate change. Nitrogen loading was less sensitive to changes in climate and socioeconomic drivers. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa; Brockhaus, Maria; Efrian, Muharrom; Juhola, Sirkku; Moira, Moeliono; Cynthia, Maharani; Bimo, Dwisatrio (2017)
    This paper contributes to an emerging body of literature on policy experimentation and governance transformation processes. We use the example of REDD+ as consisting of policy experiments in an emerging domestic policy domain to understand obstacles to transformations in forest and climate governance. We ask two interlinked questions: to what extent did the establishment of the REDD + Agency challenge 'business as usual' in Indonesia's forest and climate policy arena?; and what does this mean for a transformation away from policies and governance that enable deforestation and forest degradation? We draw on the transformation literature to better understand the role of REDD+ to achieve a transformative shift in climate governance. As an experiment of transformative climate governance, the study of REDD + provides important insights for other forest or climate programs. Our analysis shows that the REDD + Agency was successful in some extend in introducing an alternative governance mechanism and in shaking the governance structures but we also note that some of the key actors thought that greater ownership was achieved when the REDD+ Agency was dissolved and the mandate was returned to the ministries. We conclude that policy experimenting is a process, and while the creation of novel policies and their experimentation is important, also their assimilation may lead to new opportunities.
  • Yagodin, Dmitry (2018)
    In July 2016, Russian media reported on an anthrax outbreak on the Yamal peninsula. The extremely hot weather was first to blame, followed by numerous references to global climate change. High temperatures were seen causing permafrost melting and the “awakening” of anthrax bacteria that infected thousands of reindeer. Dozens of children had to be hospitalized, at least one child died. While climate-related explanations in the media lowered liabilities of the local officials, a number of competing versions, including about improper vaccinations and excessive commercialization of reindeer herding, were widely discussed too. Based on the content analysis of local, regional, and national media outlets, this study clarifies the role of mass media in raising public awareness about climate-induced health threats. I use methods of discourse analysis to investigate the ways media had framed potential causes of the emergency, as well as the immediate solutions and future preventive measures. My research looks at these aspects from a standpoint of communication policy networks wherein a guiding theoretical question is how local public issues transform into media and policy agenda, potentially also rearticulating the problem of climate change. Previous research has shown quite convincingly that environmental journalism and especially the theme of climate change are at a rather low level in the professional and news hierarchy of Russian media. This is particularly visible in the results of international comparisons.
  • Holt, R. E.; Woods, P. J.; Ferreira, A. S. A.; Bardarson, H.; Bonanomi, S.; Boonstra, W. J.; Butler, W. E.; Diekert, F. K.; Fouzai, N.; Holma, M.; Kokkalis, A.; Kvile, K. O.; MacDonald, J. I.; Malanski, E.; Nieminen, E.; Ottosen, K. M.; Pedersen, M. W.; Richter, A.; Rogers, L.; Romagnoni, G.; Snickars, M.; Tornroos, A.; Weigel, B.; Whittington, J. D.; Yletyinen, J. (2017)
    As the world's social-environmental problems increasingly extend across boundaries, both disciplinary and political, there is a growing need for interdisciplinarity, not only in research per se, but also in doctoral education. We present the common pitfalls of interdisciplinary research in doctoral education, illustrating approaches towards solutions using the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER) research network as a case study. We provide insights and detailed examples of how to overcome some of the challenges of conducting interdisciplinary research within doctoral studies that can be applied within any doctoral/postdoctoral education programme, and beyond. Results from a self-evaluation survey indicate that early-career workshops, annual meetings and research visits to other institutions were the most effective learning mechanisms, whereas single discipline-focused courses and coursework were among the least effective learning mechanisms. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of components of NorMER, this case study can inform the design of future programmes to enhance interdisciplinarity in doctoral education, as well as be applied to science collaboration and academic research in general.
  • Schafstall, Nick; Whitehouse, Nicki; Kuosmanen, Niina; Svobodova-Svitavska, Helena; Saulnier, Melanie; Chiverrell, Richard C.; Fleischer, Peter; Kunes, Petr; Clear, Jennifer L. (2020)
    Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia, and correlated to each other by wiggle-matching geochemical signals derived from micro-XRF scanning, to make a reconstruction of past conditions. A fossil beetle (Coleoptera) record, covering the last 1000 years at 50- to 100-year resolution, gives a new insight into changing flora and fauna in this region. Our findings reveal a diverse beetle community with varied ecological groups inhabiting a range of forest, meadow and synanthropic habitats. Changes in the beetle community were related to changes in the landscape, driven by anthropogenic activities. The first clear evidence for human activity in the area occurs c. 1250 CE and coincides with the arrival of beetle species living on the dung of domesticated animals (e.g. Aphodius spp.). From 1500 CE, human (re)settlement, and activities such as pasturing and charcoal burning, appear to have had a pronounced effect on the beetle community. Local beetle diversity declined steadily towards the present day, likely due to an infilling of the forest hollow leading to a decrease in moisture level. We conclude that beetle communities are directly affected by anthropogenic intensity and land-use change. When aiming to preserve or restore natural forest conditions, recording their past changes in diversity can help guide conservation and restoration. In doing so, it is important to look back beyond the time of significant human impact, and for this, information contained in paleoecological records is irreplaceable.
  • Ahonen, Salla; Hayden, Brian; Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Kahilainen, Kimmo Kalevi (2018)
    Climate change is resulting in increased temperatures and precipitation in subarctic regions of Europe. These changes are extending tree lines to higher altitudes and latitudes, and enhancing tree growth enabling intensification of forestry into previously inhospitable subarctic regions. The combined effects of climate change and land-use intensification extend the warm, open-water season in subarctic lakes and increase lake productivity and may also increase leaching andmethylation activity of mercury within the lakes. To assess the joint effects of climate and productivity on total mercury (THg) bioaccumulation in fish, we conducted a space-for-time substitution study in 18 tributary lakes of a subarcticwatercourse forming a gradient fromcold pristine oligotrophic lakes in the northern headwaters to warmer and increasingly human-altered mesotrophic and eutrophic systems in the southern lower reaches. Increasing temperature, precipitation, and lake productivity were predicted to elevate length-and age-adjusted THg concentrations, as well as THg bioaccumulation rate (the rate of THg bioaccumulation relative to length or age) in muscle tissue of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), vendace (Coregonus albula), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike (Esox lucius), roach (Rutilus rutilus) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua). A significant positive relationship was observed between age-adjusted THg concentration and lake climateproductivity in vendace (r(2) = 0.50), perch (r(2) = 0.51), pike (r(2) = 0.55) and roach (r(2) = 0.61). Higher climate-productivity values of the lakes also had a positive linear (pike; r(2) = 0.40 and whitefish; r(2)= 0.72) or u-shaped (perch; r(2) = 0.64 and ruffe; r(2) = 0.50) relationship with THg bioaccumulation rate. Our findings of increased adjusted THg concentrations in planktivores and piscivores reveal adverse effects of warming climate and increasing productivity on these subarctic fishes, whereas less distinct trends in THg bioaccumulation rate suggest more complex underlying processes. Joint environmental stressors such as climate and productivity should be considered in ongoing and future monitoring of mercury concentrations. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Gronow, Antti; Stoddart, Mark C.J.; Broadbent, Jeffrey; Schneider, Volker; Tindall, David B. (2018)
    Why do some countries enact more ambitious climate change policies than others? Macro level economic and political structures, such as the economic weight of fossil fuel industries, play an important role in shaping these policies. So do the national science community and the national culture of science. But the process by which such macro-structural factors translate into political power and national climate change policies can be analyzed through focussing on meso level policy networks. The Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) research project has studied climate change policy networks in twenty countries since 2007. Along with some findings, this paper presents some methodological challenges faced and the solutions developed in the course of the project. After a presentation of the project, we first outline some practical challenges related to conducting cross-national network surveys and solutions to overcome them, and present the solutions adopted during the project. We then turn to challenges related to causal explanation of the national policy differences, and propose Qualitative Comparative Analysis as one solution for combining different levels of analysis (macro and meso) and different data types (quantitative, network and qualitative).
  • Heikkinen, Anna Marjaana (2021)
    The intensifying impacts of climate change pose a serious global threat, particularly for rural populations whose livelihoods are closely tied to natural resources. Yet there is a lack of critical understanding of how asymmetric power dynamics shape the vulnerabilities of such populations under climate change. This article examines the interrelations between smallholders’ climate-related vulnerability experiences and power relations across multiple scales of climate adaptation in the Peruvian Andes, a region susceptible to increasing climatic threats. The analysis draws on a case study conducted in the Mantaro River Valley in Central Peru using qualitative methods: open-ended interviews, participant observation, and document analysis. Findings of the study show that in the context of climate change, the production of vulnerabilities has much to do with larger socio-political structures in which protection of the highland farmers is not prioritized. The impact of the uneven scalar power dynamics in climate adaptation and other overlapping fields of policy have created uneven terms of adaptation among smallholders. This has created marginalization, conflicts, and deepened smallholders’ vulnerabilities under climate change. I argue that to reach a better understanding of the multidimensionality of vulnerabilities, more detailed attention must be paid to place-based climate experiences within context-specific, socio-political processes, and to the ways these are shaped by unequal power relations across multiple scales.
  • Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka; Tynkkynen, Nina (2018)
    In this paper we examine the recent public discourse on climate change in Russia, with a special focus on the arguments denying the anthropogenic climate change. We scrutinize the ways in which denial arguments presented in the public media are tied to the changing Russian political and economic context, especially the steeper authoritarian turn in governance during President Putin’s third term, or Putin 2.0, and discuss the implications that the context might have for Russia’s future climate policies. We conclude that discourse construction process emphasizes Russia’s sovereignty and fossil energy as the basis of Russia’s Great Power status, thus referring to strong categories such as national identity and spatial–material characteristics of the state.
  • Picazo, Félix; Vilmi, Annika; Aalto, Juha; Soininen, Janne; Casamayor, Emilio O; Liu, Yongqin; Wu, Qinglong; Ren, Lijuan; Zhou, Jizhong; Shen, Ji; Wang, Jianjun (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background Understanding the large-scale patterns of microbial functional diversity is essential for anticipating climate change impacts on ecosystems worldwide. However, studies of functional biogeography remain scarce for microorganisms, especially in freshwater ecosystems. Here we study 15,289 functional genes of stream biofilm microbes along three elevational gradients in Norway, Spain and China. Results We find that alpha diversity declines towards high elevations and assemblage composition shows increasing turnover with greater elevational distances. These elevational patterns are highly consistent across mountains, kingdoms and functional categories and exhibit the strongest trends in China due to its largest environmental gradients. Across mountains, functional gene assemblages differ in alpha diversity and composition between the mountains in Europe and Asia. Climate, such as mean temperature of the warmest quarter or mean precipitation of the coldest quarter, is the best predictor of alpha diversity and assemblage composition at both mountain and continental scales, with local non-climatic predictors gaining more importance at mountain scale. Under future climate, we project substantial variations in alpha diversity and assemblage composition across the Eurasian river network, primarily occurring in northern and central regions, respectively. Conclusions We conclude that climate controls microbial functional gene diversity in streams at large spatial scales; therefore, the underlying ecosystem processes are highly sensitive to climate variations, especially at high latitudes. This biogeographical framework for microbial functional diversity serves as a baseline to anticipate ecosystem responses and biogeochemical feedback to ongoing climate change. Video Abstract
  • Picazo, Felix; Vilmi, Annika; Aalto, Juha; Soininen, Janne; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Liu, Yongqin; Wu, Qinglong; Ren, Lijuan; Zhou, Jizhong; Shen, Ji; Wang, Jianjun (2020)
    Background Understanding the large-scale patterns of microbial functional diversity is essential for anticipating climate change impacts on ecosystems worldwide. However, studies of functional biogeography remain scarce for microorganisms, especially in freshwater ecosystems. Here we study 15,289 functional genes of stream biofilm microbes along three elevational gradients in Norway, Spain and China. Results We find that alpha diversity declines towards high elevations and assemblage composition shows increasing turnover with greater elevational distances. These elevational patterns are highly consistent across mountains, kingdoms and functional categories and exhibit the strongest trends in China due to its largest environmental gradients. Across mountains, functional gene assemblages differ in alpha diversity and composition between the mountains in Europe and Asia. Climate, such as mean temperature of the warmest quarter or mean precipitation of the coldest quarter, is the best predictor of alpha diversity and assemblage composition at both mountain and continental scales, with local non-climatic predictors gaining more importance at mountain scale. Under future climate, we project substantial variations in alpha diversity and assemblage composition across the Eurasian river network, primarily occurring in northern and central regions, respectively. Conclusions We conclude that climate controls microbial functional gene diversity in streams at large spatial scales; therefore, the underlying ecosystem processes are highly sensitive to climate variations, especially at high latitudes. This biogeographical framework for microbial functional diversity serves as a baseline to anticipate ecosystem responses and biogeochemical feedback to ongoing climate change.
  • Eyres, Alison; Eronen, Jussi T.; Hagen, Oskar; Boehning-Gaese, Katrin; Fritz, Susanne A. (2021)
    Climatic niches describe the climatic conditions in which species can persist. Shifts in climatic niches have been observed to coincide with major climatic change, suggesting that species adapt to new conditions. We test the relationship between rates of climatic niche evolution and paleoclimatic conditions through time for 65 Old-World flycatcher species (Aves: Muscicapidae). We combine niche quantification for all species with dated phylogenies to infer past changes in the rates of niche evolution for temperature and precipitation niches. Paleoclimatic conditions were inferred independently using two datasets: a paleoelevation reconstruction and the mammal fossil record. We find changes in climatic niches through time, but no or weak support for a relationship between niche evolution rates and rates of paleoclimatic change for both temperature and precipitation niche and for both reconstruction methods. In contrast, the inferred relationship between climatic conditions and niche evolution rates depends on paleoclimatic reconstruction method: rates of temperature niche evolution are significantly negatively related to absolute temperatures inferred using the paleoelevation model but not those reconstructed from the fossil record. We suggest that paleoclimatic change might be a weak driver of climatic niche evolution in birds and highlight the need for greater integration of different paleoclimate reconstructions.
  • Landreau, Armand; Juhola, Sirkku; Jurgilevich, Alexandra; Räsänen, Aleksi (2021)
    The assessments of future climate risks are common; however, usually, they focus on climate projections without considering social changes. We project heat risks for Finland to evaluate (1) what kind of differences there are in heat vulnerability projections with different scenarios and scales, and (2) how the use of socio-economic scenarios influences heat risk assessments. We project a vulnerability index with seven indicators downscaled to the postal code area scale for 2050. Three different scenario sets for vulnerability are tested: one with five global Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) scenarios; the second with three European SSPs (EUSSPs) with data at the sub-national scale (NUTS2); and the last with the EUSSPs but aggregated data at the national scale. We construct projections of heat risk utilizing climatic heat hazard data for three different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and vulnerability and exposure data for five global SSPs up to 2100. In the vulnerability projections, each scenario in each dataset shows a decrease in vulnerability compared to current values, and the differences between the three scenario sets are small. There are evident differences both in the spatial patterns and in the temporal trends when comparing the risk projections with constant vulnerability to the projections with dynamic vulnerability. Heat hazard increases notably in RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, but a decrease of vulnerability especially in SSP1 and SSP5 alleviates risks. We show that projections of vulnerability have a considerable impact on future heat-related risk and emphasize that future risk assessments should include the combination of long-term climatic and socio-economic projections.
  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Ojala, Antti E.K. (2018)
    Arctic freshwater basins are diversity hotspots and sentinels of climate change, but their long-term variability and the environmental variables controlling them are not well defined. We examined four available lake sediment sequences from High Arctic Svalbard for their subfossil Chironomidae communities, biodiversity and functional traits and assessed the influence of climatic and limnological variability on the long-term ecological dynamics. Our results indicated that collector-filterers had an important role in the oligotrophic sites, whereas collector-gatherers dominated the nutrient-enriched sites with significant bird guano inputs. In the oligotrophic sites, benthic production, taxon richness and taxonomic and functional diversity were highest during the early Holocene, when temperatures showed a rapid increase. An increase in subfossil abundance and diversity metrics was also found in recent samples of the oligotrophic sites, but not in the bird-impacted sites, where the trends were decreasing. When partitioning out the environmental forcing on chironomid communities, the influence of climate was significant in all the sites, whereas in-lake production (organic matter) was significant in two of the sites and catchment erosion (magnetic susceptibility) had only minor influence. The findings suggest that major changes in Arctic chironomid assemblages were driven by climate warming with increasing diversity in oligotrophic sites, but deteriorating ecological functions in environmentally stressed sites. We found that although taxonomic and functional diversity were always coupled, taxonomical and functional turnovers were coupled only in the oligotrophic sites suggesting that the ecological functions operated by chironomids in these low-productivity sites may not be as resilient to future environmental change.
  • Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka (2020)
    By examining how power is constructed and maintained in Russia with the help of hydrocarbons—oil and gas—this article shows why this system is detrimental to Russia in the context of global environmental, technological, and geopolitical changes. While promoting a hydrocarbon culture as central to national identity, the Kremlin has failed to adapt to the global transition toward renewable energy. But external actors such as the European Union could encourage change from within to develop Russia’s untapped potential as a green power, given its vast endowments of renewable resources.
  • Sihvonen, Matti; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Pihlainen, Sampo; Salo, Tapio; Lai, Tin-Yu (2021)
    We introduce a multistep modeling approach for studying optimal management of fertilizer inputs in a situation where soil nitrogen and carbon dynamics and water and atmosphere externalities are considered. The three steps in the modeling process are: (1) generation of the data sets with a detailed simulation model; (2) estimation of the system models from the data; (3) application of the obtained dynamic economic optimization model considering inorganic and organic fertilizer inputs. We demonstrate the approach with a case study: barley production in southern Finland on coarse and clay soils. Our results show that there is a synergy between climate change mitigation and water protection goals, and a trade-off between pollution mitigation and crop production goals. If a field is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an insignificant source of water pollution, atmospheric externalities dominate the water externalities, even for a relatively low social cost of carbon (SCC). If a field is a significant source of water pollution, the SCC would have to be very high before atmospheric externalities dominate water externalities. In addition, an integrated nutrient management system appears better than a system in which only inorganic or organic fertilizer is used, although manure is not a solution to agriculture's GHG emissions problem. Moreover, GHG emissions and nitrogen and carbon leaching mitigation efforts should first be targeted at coarse soils rather than clay soils, because the marginal abatement costs are considerably lower for coarse soils.
  • Monnens, Marlies; Frost, Emily J.; Clark, Miriam; Sewell, Mary A.; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.; Artois, Tom (2019)
    A new rhabdocoel of the genus Syndesmis Silliman, 1881 (Umagillidae) is described from the intestine of the New Zealand sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus (Valenciennes, 1846) Mortensen, 1943a. This new species, Syndesmis kurakaikina n. sp., is morphologically distinct and can easily be recognised by its very long (+/- 1 mm) styles and its bright-red colour. In addition to providing a formal description, we present some observations on reproduction and life history of this new species. Fecundity is comparable to that of other umagillids and the rate of egg production and development increases with temperature. Hatching in this species is induced by intestinal fluids of its host. Relevant to global warming, we assessed the effect of temperature on survival, fecundity, and development. The tests indicate that Syndesmis kurakaikina n. sp. is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures (11-25 degrees C) and that its temperature optimum lies between 18.0 and 21.5 degrees C. Egg viability is, however, significantly compromised at the higher end of this temperature range, with expelled egg capsules often being deformed and showing increasingly lower rates of hatching. Given this, a rise in global temperature might increase the risk of Syndesmis kurakaikina n. sp. infecting new hosts and would possibly facilitate the spread of these endosymbionts.
  • Pietikäinen, Risto; Nordling, Stig; Jokiranta, Sakari; Saari, Seppo; Heikkinen, Petra; Gardiner, Chris; Kerttula, Anne-Marie; Kantanen, Tiina; Nikanorova, Anna; Laaksonen, Sauli; Lavikainen, Antti; Oksanen, Antti (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The spread of vector-borne diseases to new regions has become a global threat due to climate change, increasing traffic, and movement of people and animals. Dirofilaria repens, the canine subcutaneous filarioid nematode, has expanded its distribution range northward during the last decades. The northernmost European locations, where the parasite life-cycle has been confirmed, are Estonia and the Novgorod Region in Russia. Results Herein, we describe an autochthonous D. repens infection in a Finnish woman. We also present two cases of D. repens infection in imported dogs indicating the life-cycle in the Russian Vyborg and St Petersburg areas, close to the Finnish border. Conclusions The most obvious limiting factor of the northern distribution of D. repens is the summer temperature, due to the temperature-dependent development of larvae in vectors. With continuing climate change, further spread of D. repens in Fennoscandia can be expected.