How Does Global Warming Affect Asexual Reproduction?

By Antonia Čirjak on May 8 2020 in Environment

Higher temperatures work wonders when it comes to certain organisms, and in some cases, it leads to higher rates of reproduction.
  • In the last few decades the jellyfish populations increased and it seems to be connceted with the higher temperatures.
  • The temperatures of water have a significant effect on the vast majority of oceanic organisms.
  • Mediterranean Sea is one of the most vulnerable areas when in comes to climate changes.

Believe it or not, global warming has a positive effect on asexual reproduction. Higher temperatures work wonders when it comes to certain organisms, and in some cases, it leads to higher rates of reproduction. However, this will not have a large enough impact on anything, and should not be considered a positive effect. Global warming, or climate change, is still a huge problem we must face and deal with within the foreseeable future.

Increase In Numbers

Throughout the past few decades, many areas of the world saw an increase in the number of jellyfish. Researchers tried determining the reason for this, so they went out and tried doing tests. It appears that the obvious reason was the correct one, the higher temperatures affected the populations of the jellyfish. This was not that drastic, and it only happened in certain parts of the world, but it is still something worth noting. 

The part that was researched was the northwest Mediterranean Sea, where researchers observed polyps of three species of jellyfish. They kept them at a laboratory under three different temperatures. The goal was to test the survival of the species and how well the new polyps will be produced asexually. It was determined that higher temperatures affected their survival drastically, especially the species Aurelia aurita and Rhizostoma Pulmo.

Higher Temperatures Equal More Reproduction

More polyps were being created by all species at higher temperatures as well. When compared with other species that habituate places with lower temperatures, it was determined that the temperatures might be the reason why these species do not reproduce as much. This is why many believe that global warming might help the survival of these species drastically. It will especially work well on the species living in colder areas, referred to as the temperate species. Those that are living in areas that are already warm enough will most likely not be affected.

It should be noted that water temperatures affect the life cycles and reproduction of the majority of organisms that are living in the oceans. However, this is one particular case where global warming might actually be helpful for the survival of a species. Still, it will only be beneficial in specific areas, and those species are not endangered. So the fact remains that we cannot really consider this a huge benefit. We should still look at global warming as a huge threat.

Changes In The Mediterranean

One of the sensitive areas most affected by the changes in climate conditions is the Mediterranean Sea. Most other places in the tropic chains are affected as well. Many organisms living there show complex responses to these changes. One example would be benthic and pelagic cnidarians. The changes in temperatures over the past few decades made some significant changes in those species, especially in how much they reproduce.

Their reproductive timing changed as well. Another interesting change occurred in how the number of species remained stable, but their identity changed. This is also tied to global warming, most likely, and is a result of higher reproduction among these organisms. Of course, they all use asexual reproduction. Some species exhibited outbreaks in numbers due to higher rates of reproduction. This happened during winter when they would normally reproduce far less than usual. However, winters around the Mediterranean are much warmer now.

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