How vulnerable are plant species to climate change?

bottlebrushIn a study conducted using the native shrub Needle Bottlebrush, Environment Institute member Prof Andrew Lowe (and others) explore the vulnerability of plant species in the face of climate change in their paper Combining population genetics, species distribution modelling and field assessments to understand a species vulnerability to climate change.


The aims of this research were ‘to evaluate ‘the risk posed by climate change on C. teretifolius (Needle Bottlebrush), and identify populations for conservation based on high genetic diversity and predicted persistence of habitat’ by using a number of approaches including field assessments, using data from field assessments, population genetics, species distribution modelling and spatial analysis.

The authors find that ‘temperature and rainfall distribution as a result of contemporary climate change are expected to impose serious challenges on many plant species’, but other factors can have effects on plant populations such as species geographic location and human intervention.

The full findings are in the journal Austral Ecology.

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