Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Climate Change & Biodiversity

Just been to a very interesting seminar by Prof Bryan Huntley of Durham University - I was floundering a bit, but as I understood his case:

climate change is happening so rapidly that there is little chance of many species evolving to adapt, so the only prospect of survival is for species to migrate into new areas as climatic conditions change

he's mapped likely changes in climate (mean winter/summer temperatures, rainfall etc) across Europe - and then correlated similar habitats in present and future. He assumes that the future potential range of a given species is the future habitat which most closely relates to their current habitat - but it will become their actual range if they can move and adapt in time

he then argues that conservationists should be enabling species to make the move as their habitats shift. This means a major change in mindset from conventional conservation which seeks to protect 'native species' and existing ecosystems

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