One possible result of climate change, according to Kansas State University researchers: The state animal gets smaller.
A researcher at K-State has published the results of a study of what happens when grasses grow more slowly and create fewer nutrients, the university said in a statement. The result is that grazing animals like cattle and bison grow more slowly, the university said.
The researcher, Joseph Craine, a research assistant professor in the Division of Biology, looked at how climate change during the next 50 years might affect grazing animals. He published his study, “Long-term climate sensitivity of grazer performance: a cross-site study,” in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE, the university said.
He analyzed data from 22 bison herds throughout the U.S, including from herds at the university’s Konza Prairie Biological Station. The organizations keeping the herds he studied have tracked annual records of each herd animal, and also tracked climate of the sites.