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Climate Change and Conservation

Author(s): LEDIG, F. Thomas

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 8;
Start page: 57;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: conservation genetics | assisted colonization | extinction | Picea mexicana | Picea martinezii | Picea chihuahuana | Picea breweriana

Conserving forest genetic resources and, indeed, preventing species extinctions will be complicated by the expected changes in climate projected for the next century and beyond. This paper uses case examples from rare spruces (Picea sp.) from North America to discuss the interplay of conservation, genetics, and climate change. New models show how climate change will affect these spruces, making it necessary to relocate them if they are to survive, a tool known as assisted migration or, preferably, assisted colonization. The paper concludes with some speculation on the broader implications of climate change, and the relevance of conservation to preserving the necessary ecological services provided by forests.

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