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New study to examine effects and threats of climate change on plants and animals in Andes
Date:12/21/2010

(ST. LOUIS): Plant scientists from the Missouri Botanical Garden will join the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and other partners to study the impacts of climate change on biodiversity in the tropical Andes. The project seeks to provide the four tropical Andean countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru with standard methodology for estimating local climate change risks, which can advise future decision making, adaptation measures and conservation planning. The IAI initiative has been awarded a three-year grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Climate and biodiversity scientists from the Missouri Botanical Garden, the International Research Centre on El Nio in Ecuador, Asociacin Armona BirdLife International in Bolivia and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society will examine two biodiversity hotspots in the Andes mountain range the Pacific slope of the Northern Andes between Colombia and Ecuador, and the Amazonian slope of the Central Andes between Bolivia and Peru. Both areas are renowned for their exceptional species richness: The Colombia-Ecuador study area has one of the world's widest ranges of endemic species of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies, and the Bolivia-Peru study area has one of the highest levels of bird endemism in the tropical Andes. In the Bolivian region alone, Madidi National Park is home to just under 900 species (or about nine percent) of the world's birds, and about 7,000 documented plant species (one-third of all species known to occur in the country).

The project focuses on three main components climate, land use and biodiversity. Changes in climatic conditions in the study areas will be assessed, inferred and projected by using dendochronology (tree ring records) to reconstruct short-term climate variability from the past 100 to 200 years; examining historical data from climate stations; collecting data on climatic cond
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Contact: Karen Hill
karen.hill@mobot.org
314-577-0254
Missouri Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert

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