Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Ecosystems, their properties, goods, and services


Andreas Fischlin
G.F. Midgley
Jeff Price
Rik Leemans
Brij Gopal
Carol Turley
Mark Rounsevell
Pauline Dube
Juan Tarazona
Andrei Velichko



Publication type:

Book Chapter

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Northwest Research Station


In: Parry, M.L.; Canziani, O.F.; Palutikof, J.P.; van der Linden, P.J.; Hanson, C.E., eds. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press: 211-272.
File name


During the course of this century the resilience of many ecosystems (their ability to adapt naturally) is likely to be exceeded by an unprecedented combination of change in climate, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire, insects, ocean acidification) and in other global change drivers (especially land-use change, pollution, and over-exploitation of resources), if greenhouse gas emissions and other changes continue at or above current rates (high confidence). By 2100, ecosystems will be exposed to atmospheric CO2 levels substantially higher than in the past 650,000 years, and global temperatures at least among the highest of those experienced in the past 740,000 years (very high confidence). This will alter the structure, reduce biodiversity and perturb functioning of most ecosystems, and compromise the services they currently provide (high confidence). Present and future land-use change and associated landscape fragmentation are very likely to impede species' migration and thus impair natural adaptation via geographical range shifts (very high confidence).


Fischlin, A., G.F. Midgley, J.T. Price, R. Leemans, B. Gopal, C. Turley, M.D.A. Rounsevell, O.P. Dube, J. Tarazona, A.A. Velichko. 2007. Ecosystems, their properties, goods, and services. In:Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 211-272.

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.