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Climate change threatens EU biodiversity target

Forests of all types are rich in biodiversity
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) May 24, 2006
Climate change is a major threat to the European Union's target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010, according to a British government report published on Wednesday.

The study found that there was already compelling scientific evidence on the impact of climate change on wild plants and animals in Europe.

It warned that during the 21st century, rapidly shifting climate zones and rising sea levels would increase the pressure on several species already under threat.

Hinting at a bleak future for Europe's biodiversity, it said wild animals and plants could die out in some places unless they adapted to the rapidly changing climate.

While some would be able to keep pace, other, less mobile species would find it difficult, the report said.

Familiar wildlife species such as the beech tree and the curlew, a beautiful wading bird, are threatened.

The report urged a more integrated approach to conservation in Europe.

It highlighted concerns that human reactions to climate change -- such as an increased emand for water -- could put further pressure on animal and plant species.

Launching the report at Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire, southern England, British Environment Secretary David Miliband said: "The reality of climate change is with us today. We can only expect much bigger changes to come.

"It is imperative to act now to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide and combat the effects of climate change on our natural habitats and the plants and animals that rely upon them."

Related Links

Tropical Forests Leak Nitrogen Back Into Atmosphere
Princeton NJ (SPX) May 24, 2006
In findings that could influence our understanding of climate change, a Princeton research team has learned that tropical forests return to the atmosphere up to half the nitrogen they receive each year, thanks to a particular type of bacteria that lives in those forests.

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