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There is no escaping the fact that the British climate is changing, and our wildlife is changing with it. Warmer and wetter winters, combined with longer summers, have worked to the advantage of some plants such as the rare Lady Orchid and a whole range of insects including butterflies, crickets and dragonflies. Many are moving their range edges northwards, while spring flowers and butterflies are appearing earlier year on year. Britain is also hosting new arrivals that come in on the wing, especially dragonflies and damselflies. But it isn't all good news. Alpine plants and seabirds – particularly Kittiwakes – are suffering declines as our climate warms.
Britain has the longest history of wildlife recording anywhere in the world and we are in pole position for studying how climate has influenced our flora and fauna over at least decades and, in some cases, centuries. In this latest volume in the British Wildlife Collection, Trevor Beebee examines the story so far for our species and their ecosystems, and considers how they may respond in the future. For conservationists, coping with habitat loss and the associated species declines has proved challenging enough in the past; now we must also consider ways to tackle the additional pressures that come with climate change.
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Trevor Beebee is emeritus professor of Evolution, Behaviour and Environment at the University of Sussex and a trustee of the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. He has worked on the ecology and genetics of British amphibian populations for more than 40 years, and has published more than 200 scientific papers and articles on those subjects. His previous books include Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and Amphibians and Reptiles with Richard Griffiths in the New Naturalist series. In 2009 he was awarded Fellowship Honoris Causa by the British Naturalists' Association.
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