El NIÑO is playing in the Tropics

As we were taking the course all of, or most of the researchers mentioned el NIÑO and its effects. I hope I can just give you a basic description on it. The idea is to make you feel curious about it .

The first thing is, What is it?

It is a climatic event that causes changes in precipitation, causing higher temperatures and longer and more severe dry seasons. And the strength of this phenomenon is the highest recorded in the last 150,000 years.

And then what are some of the documented effects on biodiversity?

It can affect distribution and composition of communities; can also lead to local extinctions.

Increased Bleaching and mortality in coral reef assemblages in the pacific coast has been reported during el Niño years.


On seabird populations in the Galapagos, mortality increases and breeding just does not happen.


Primate’s reproduction changes have been reported, the shortage on available food caused by high temperatures reflects negatively on female condition and fecundity.


Lizard’s populations suffer population decrease after each el Niño event. A population decline over the last 30 years has been reported for Anolis populations in Barro Colorado Island, Panama.


If you are studying any organism in Panama this year, consider looking for the effects of el Niño in your research.


Nott, M. P., Desante, D. F., Siegel, R. B., & Pyle, P. (July 01, 2002). Influences of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation on avian productivity in forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 11, 4, 333-342.

Tudhope, A. W., Chilcott, C. P., McCulloch, M. T., Cook, E. R., Chappell, J., Ellam, R. M., Lea, D. W., … Shimmield, G. B. (January 01, 2001). Variability in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation through a glacial-interglacial cycle. Science (new York, N.y.), 291, 5508, 1511-7.

Valle, C. A., Cruz, F., Cruz, J. B., Merlen, G., & Coulter, M. C. (December 15, 1987). The impact of the 1982-1983 El Niño-Southern Oscillation on seabirds in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 92, 14437-14444.

Stapley, J., Garcia, M., & Andrews, R. M. (January 01, 2015). Long-term data reveal a population decline of the tropical lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a negative affect of el nino years on population growth rate. Plos One, 10, 2.)

WIEDERHOLT, R. U. S. C. E. N. A., & POST, E. R. I. C. (October 01, 2011). Birth seasonality and offspring production in threatened neotropical primates related to climate. Global Change Biology, 17, 10, 3035-3045.

Yocom, L. L., Fulé, P. Z., Brown, P. M., Cerano, J., Villanueva-Díaz, J., Falk, D. A., & Cornejo-Oviedo, E. (January 01, 2010). El Niño-southern oscillation effect on a fire regime in northeastern Mexico has changed over time. Ecology, 91, 6, 1660-71.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s