1 Tahrcountry Musings: Understanding differences within species is critical to conservation efforts

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Understanding differences within species is critical to conservation efforts

A new study led by Maria Hällfors, a doctoral student at the Finnish Museum of Natural History at the University of Helsinki, and Jessica Hellmann, director of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment has come up with the finding that differences within a species across geographically distinct ranges should be taken into account during conservation planning as the climate changes.  Local populations of species might have adapted to the specific conditions in the areas where they occur; which means they would require different conditions than other individuals of the same species. This against the back drop that scientists, conservationists and land managers often predict future distributions of species assuming that all individuals of the species thrive in the same conditions.

Hällfors says  "This study shows that the models ecologists and others typically use to predict the future of species can reach very different conclusions if we consider the species as one single group versus composed of distinctly different populations,"

Hellmann.says "This study highlights the importance of understanding population differences when designing conservation plans for endangered species,"

Journal Reference:
Jessica Hellmann et al.  Addressing potential local adaptation in species distribution models: implications for conservation under climate change. Ecological Applications, March 2016

No comments: