Climate change

A new study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Liverpool has warned that climate change is drastically affecting the fertility of various species.

The new study report published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution revealed that several plants and animals are losing their fertility at temperatures lower than their 'Critical Thermal Limit' or CTL, a temperature at which these living beings collapse and die.

"There is a risk that we are underestimating the impact of climate change on species survival because we have focused on the temperatures that are lethal to organisms, rather than the temperatures at which organisms can no longer breed," said Dr Tom Price, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Liverpool, Science Daily reports.

The research team also added that the animals, most prone to lose fertility, are cold-blooded creatures and aquatic living beings. Dr Price also added that more studies should be conducted to determine whether other species are also facing fertility issues due to drastic climate change.

"Currently the information we have suggests this will be a serious issue for many organisms. But which ones are most at risk? Are fertility losses going to be enough to wipe out populations, or can just a few fertile individuals keep populations going? At the moment, we just don't know. We need more data," added Dr Price.

He also urged authorities to design conservation programs that will help various marine and cold-blooded species to survive the changing climate.

"We need researchers across the world, working in very different systems, from fish, to coral, to flowers, to mammals and flies, to find a way to measure how temperature impacts fertility in that organism and compare it to estimates of the temperature at which they die or stop functioning," concluded Price.