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CLIMATE SCIENCE PORTAL  CLIMATE SCIENCE 101

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Impacts on wildlife and biodiversity

Maine has a remarkable diversity of plants, animals, mushrooms, wetlands, forest types, and much more. It’s estimated that there are at least 1500 plant species (not including ferns and mosses), 33,000 wildlife (including insects), and over 100 types of natural communities. This variety of species and ecosystems, called “biodiversity”, will be unevenly affected by climate change. Some species will be more impacted than others, and the changes will ripple through the ecosystem in a variety of ways, altering complex relationships that have long sustained Maine’s native plant and animal communities. This is a simplification of rippling through the ecosystem: if a certain species of fly disappear due to climate change then certain fish which feed on that fly may disappear resulting in less food for the bears that would eat that fish, and so on.

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