Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Published online August 10, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1186/s41610-021-00188-9

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2021) 45:13

© The Ecological Society of Korea.

Trends in the effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems in the Republic of Korea

Sei-Woong Choi1, Woo-Seok Kong2, Ga-Young Hwang3 and Kyung Ah Koo4

Department of Environmental Education, Mokpo National University, Muan, Republic of Korea; Department of Geography, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Gangwon Regional Headquarter, Korea Rural Community Corporation, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea; Division for Natural Environment, Water and Land Research Group, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Kyung Ah Koo

Received: May 25, 2021; Accepted: July 14, 2021

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Abstract

In this review, we aimed to synthesize the current knowledge on the observed and projected effects of climate change on the ecosystems of Korea (i.e., the Republic of Korea (ROK) or South Korea), as well as the main causes of vulnerability and options for adaptation in these ecosystems based on a range of ecological and biogeographical data. To this end, we compiled a set of peer-reviewed papers published since 2014. We found that publication of climate-related studies on plants has decreased in the field of plant phenology and physiology, whereas such publication has rapidly increased in plant and animal community ecology, reflecting the range shifts and abundance change that are occurring under climate change. Plant phenology studies showed that climate change has increased growing seasons by advancing the timing of flowering and budburst while delaying the timing of leafing out. Community ecology studies indicated that the future ranges of cold-adapted plants and animals could shrink or shift toward northern and high-elevation areas, whereas the ranges of warm-adapted organisms could expand and/or shift toward the areas that the aforementioned cold-adapted biota previously occupied. This review provides useful information and new insights that will improve understanding of climate change effects on the ecosystems of Korea. Moreover, it will serve as a reference for policy-makers seeking to establish future sectoral adaptation options for protection against climate change.

Keywords: Climate change, Projected effects, Korea, Ecosystem, Phenology, Diversity

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220