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Climate change miscues may shrink species’ outer limits

Ecological partnerships are getting out of sync, especially at high latitudes

Throughout the world, climate change is causing age-old ecological partners to miss their cues as seasons shift. The trend may be so strong at higher latitudes that researchers now propose that some species’ ranges could actually shrink away from the poles.

This idea comes from studying broad-tailed hummingbirds that migrate north from Central America each spring to high-altitude breeding sites in the western United States. With only brief mountain summers to raise chicks, male hummingbirds typically arrive in the region before the first flowers bloom and scout for territories.

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