Scientists from Australia, the United States and UK joined forces to outline a framework for deciding how and when people might intervene to move species to more favourable locations. An article -- “Moving with the times: assisted colonization and rapid climate change”-- published on Friday 18 July in Science outlines their new framework, and suggests that our failure to act could consign some species to extinction.
Professor Chris Thomas, from the Department of Biology at the University of York, and his colleagues identified a series of steps that might be taken for each species. If there is low to moderate risk of extinction from climate change, it may be sufficient to bolster conventional conservation measures, for example by increasing the amount of habitat available or reducing persecution.
However, this looks increasingly likely to be inadequate for many species. The main alternatives are to maintain species in captivity, or to find new places to move them to. Breeding species in captivity can only save a very small number, though seed banks, or frozen eggs and sperm could protect more. The scientists, led by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland, say that such options are better than nothing, though they do not fulfill many of the reasons for protecting biodiversity in the first place. So, they conclude that translocation is a serious option.
Professor Thomas said: “Moving species carries potential risks to other species, as well as benefits to the species being moved, so we have to be careful to weigh up the pros and cons on a case by case basis. But not to act may represent a decision to allow a species to dwindle to extinction.”
In the 19th Century, Acclimatisation Societies were formed in many of the then- European colonies specifically with the aim of establishing ‘familiar’ species in new regions.
“Moving species between continents caused all sorts of problems, and has given translocation a bad name amongst conservation organisations” Professor Thomas said.
“But this is not what we are suggesting. Ecology has moved on a long way since then, and we now know that moving species within the same general region (e.g., from France to Britain) hardly ever causes serious biological problems. The time is fast approaching when we need to identify the species that might need to be protected – from a European or global perspective – within Britain, and then set about moving them here.”
The scientists agree that minimising the amount of climate change that takes place (climate mitigation) is the most important issue to address. “We can go so far with helping species to adapt to climate change, but ultimately we are not going to be successful if high levels of climate change take place,” Professor Thomas added.
Professor Chris Thomas | alfa
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering