Terrestrial Ecosystem (Land)

Impacts

  • Phenology (study of re-occuring biological events bloom times and species migration): In eastern North America, spring is coming earlier – five to six days earlier since 1959 – with evidence of earlier leaf appearance, flower blooming and bird nesting times.  In Atlantic Canada, we haven't yet witnessed these changes along the coast but there have been earlier blooms in interior regions like the Annapolis Valley.   An earlier spring has been shown to reduce the breeding success of seabirds as they may experience greater heat stress and parasites from mosquitoes.
  • Wildlife Habitat: Moose are currently found as far south as Nova Scotia. Under a warming climate, the southern limit of moose may shift northward into more favourable habitat.
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems: Many of Nova Scotia's unique ecosystems are either rare or absent from nearby jurisdictions.  While the occurrence of some types may increase, others will decline as climate conditions required for their development change.  Some rare northern ecosystems, in Nova Scotia, such as highland taiga may disappear.  We can expect an increase in the number and abundance of non-native species.  As a result of more non-native species and loss of native species, we will likely see an uncoupling of existing complex ecosystems and a move toward more simplified ecosystems. These and other changes in the abundance and distribution of wildlife in Nova Scotia will alter the biodiversity that is characteristic of this region.

Adaptation

  • Monitor: Establish monitoring programs to determine which terrestrial ecosystems will be most impacted by changing conditions.
  • Conserve and Protect: Revise and enhance habitat and wildlife conservation and protection and integrated land-use management programs, where appropriate.
  • Reduce Other Stressors: Address other stress factors beyond climate change that are negatively affecting the ability of species and populations to survive and thrive.
  • Prevent Invasions: Take steps to mitigate influx of non-native invasive species.