Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Species affected by climate change: To shift or not to shift?

Date:
August 22, 2011
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Relocating species threatened by climate change is a radical and hotly debated strategy for maintaining biodiversity.

Golden bower bird: biodiversity managers are debating if and how to move species ahead of climate change.
Credit: John Manger

Relocating species threatened by climate change is a radical and hotly debated strategy for maintaining biodiversity. In a paper published August 10 in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from CSIRO, University of Queensland and United States Geological Survey present a pragmatic decision framework for determining when, if ever, to move species in the face of climate change.

"As our climate changes more rapidly than species can adapt or disperse, natural resource managers increasingly want to know what adaptation options are available to help them conserve biodiversity," said co-author, CSIRO researcher and research fellow at the University of Queensland Dr Eve McDonald-Madden.

Managed relocation, also known as assisted colonisation, of species involves moving plants or animals from an area that is, or will become, untenable because of climate change, to areas where there are more suitable climatic conditions but in which the plants or animals have not occurred previously.

"While the virtues of managed relocation of species are being debated by the scientific community, the reality is that it is already occurring.

"The decision-making framework we have developed shows that the best timing for moving species depends on many factors such as: the size of the population, the expected losses in the population through relocation, and the expected numbers that the new location could be expected to support.

"It would also rely on good predictions about the impact of climate shifts on a particular species and the suitability of areas to which they can move -- an often difficult issue in the case of rare species because we just don't have this sort of detailed information," Dr McDonald-Madden said.

CSIRO researcher Dr Tara Martin said monitoring and learning about how potentially climate change-affected plants and animals function in their 'native' ecosystems will play a crucial role in ensuring that managed relocation plans succeed.

"Active adaptive management is important when we are unsure of what the climatic changes are likely to be in the current habitat.

"Our framework provides managers with a rational basis for making timely decisions under uncertainty to ensure species persistence in the long-term" Dr Martin said.

"Without relocating species we are destined to lose some of our most important and iconic wildlife, but at the end of the day we also need viable ecosystems into which we can move species.

"Managed relocation is not a quick fix. It will be used in some specific circumstances for species that we really care about, but it will not be a saviour for all biodiversity in the face of climate change," Dr Martin said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eve McDonald-Madden, Michael C. Runge, Hugh P. Possingham, Tara G. Martin. Optimal timing for managed relocation of species faced with climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2011; 1 (5): 261 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1170

Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Species affected by climate change: To shift or not to shift?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093843.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2011, August 22). Species affected by climate change: To shift or not to shift?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093843.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Species affected by climate change: To shift or not to shift?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093843.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins