The world right now is very interested in climate change for humans but today, we would be talking about the effects of climate change on animals as well.
The world is habited by living things and we all deserve to live in a good environment and enjoy all it has to offer.
Before embarking on the effects of climate change on animals, its important we understand the physiological behaviors and how climate change affects them.
What is Physiology
To understand Effects of Climate Change on Animals and Their Physiological Behaviors, we must understand their physiology. The branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.
the way in which a living organism or bodily part functions.
What Animal physiology
Is the scientific study of the life-supporting properties, functions and processes of animals or their parts? It focuses on how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system.
In animal husbandry, stress has actually been conceived as a reflex reaction that occurs by necessity when farm animals are exposed to adverse environmental conditions and which is the cause of many unfavorable consequences, ranging from discomfort to death.
All farm animals will experience some level of stress during their lives. Stress reduces the fitness of an animal, which can be expressed through failure to achieve production performance standards, or through disease and death. Stress in farm animals may also have detrimental effects on quality of food products. Farm animals try to cope with stressors using behavioral and physiological stress responses aiming to restore homeostasis.
What is Homeostasis?
Homeostasis is a property of cells, tissues, and organisms that allow the maintenance and regulation of the stability and constancy needed to function properly.
Homeostasis is a healthy state that is maintained by the constant adjustment of biochemical and physiological pathways.
Homeostasis is the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by living systems. This is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism and includes many variables, such as body temperature and fluid balance, being kept within certain pre-set limits. When these responses are not successful or when they are thwarted, typical behavioral and physiological symptoms of chronic stress occur. However, the response to stress is not always undesirable.
What is Stress?
Stress can be defined as any environmental change, that is alteration in climate or management that is severe enough to elicit a behavioral or physiological response from the animal.
Stress can also be defined as a biological response elicited when an animal perceives a threat to its homeostasis or Adverse effects in the environment or management system which forces changes in the animal’s physiologic or behavior to avoid physiological malfunctioning and assist the animal in coping with its environment.
Some types of Animal behavior
Animal behavior: The concept, broadly considered on the other hand, refers to everything animals do, including movement and other activities and underlying mental processes.
An animal is affected by many factors including; Environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation
An animal is under stress when it has to make extreme functional, structural, behavioral or immunological adjustments to cope with adverse aspects of its environment. According to farm animals like humans perform best when the temperature is neither too hot or too cold. Exposure to direct radiation can dramatically increase heat stress in stock and most will actively seek shade on hot days
Behavior has important function: providing information to human caretakers about the welfare of the animal
Effects of Climate Change on animals
Climate change and heat stress will affect both directly and indirectly on animal productivity and welfare. The major indirect effects are reduced feed intake, water availability, immune system, reduced availability of pasture and more outbreaks of diseases
The major behavioral responses to livestock adaptation are feeding, defecating and urinating frequency, water intake, lying time, standing time, shade seeking behavior and increased frequency of drinking.
The direct effects are due primarily to increased temperatures and frequency and intensity of heat waves. These environmental conditions can affect livestock health by causing metabolic disruptions, oxidative stress, and immune suppression causing infections and death. The indirect effects are those linked to alteration of the availability and the quality of feedstuffs and drinking water as well as survival and redistribution of pathogens and/or their vectors.
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