Climate Relicts: Seeking Clues On How Some Species Survive
In pockets ranging from mountain peaks to bogs, scientists are discovering plants and animals that survived previous eras of climate change. Now, conservation biologists say, these climate “relicts” could shed light on how some species may hang on in the coming centuries.
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by carl zimmer
The mere existence of climate relicts can give ecologists headaches. A number of researchers have been developing computer models that can predict where species can be found today based on the kind of climate they can survive in. Part of the motivation for these models comes from the desire to understand why species shifted their ranges in particular patterns in the past. But many scientists also hope these models will help predict what happens to the world’s biodiversity as the planet warms over the next century. They’re already documenting hundreds of species either moving toward the poles or heading up the slopes of mountains, tracking the climate they prefer....
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/surviving_ ... icts/2437/