Have you ever thought about how climate change can effect the organisms that also inhabit our Earth?I believe many people view our world as anthropocentric, or only revolving around us humans. It is crucial to take a step back and realize that there are millions and millions of other creatures we live with.
There are certain species who are more resilient to sea level rise, increasing temperatures, and more extreme weather. These species are referred to as generalists. On the other hand, species who are more sensitive to these changes are called specialists.
Two examples of these specialist species are the Ochre Star (Pisaster Ochraceus) and the American Lobster (Homarus Americanus). The effect of warming seas has had drastic and devastating effects on these two species.
Although the Ochre Star comes from the northwest Pacific Ocean and the American lobster comes from the northeast coast of the United States, the epidemics effecting them are of major concern. This information was found from this article put out from The Independent, a news site based out of the UK.
On the Pacific Coast, the Ochre Star is suffering from a disease which degrades its limbs and causes them to fall off. This disease is thought to be a virus that is more active during times of warmer temperatures.
As for the American Lobster, the term used in the article is “epizootic shell disease.” This is understood to be a disease that is also characterized by the warmer waters present in the North Atlantic.
If these specialist species continue to suffer, it is only a matter of time before the population of generalists species begin to suffer.