With the failure of the Copenhagen summit to draft a legally binding agreement on the reduction of global CO2 emission rates, it seems almost certain that we will see further rapid changes in the global climate. So how are we going to identify and protect the planet's most vulnerable species at this time of unprecedented change? In a specially commissioned series of review articles published on 26 February 2010 in the Journal of Experimental Biology (http://jeb.biologists.org), leading researchers in the fields of biogeography and environmental physiology lay out the challenges that many organisms will face, changes that are already being documented and the possibilities of predicting which populations will be most threatened by climate change.
Edited by Malcolm Gordon (University of California, Los Angeles), Brian Barnes (The University of Alaska Fairbanks), Katsufumi Sato (University of Tokyo) and Hans Hoppeler (University of Bern), the collection covers issues ranging from the effects of climate change on vegetation distributions, bird, insect and marine populations to the responses of corals and amphibians to environmental change.
Considering the scale of the ecological disaster that we currently face and the role that environmental physiologists are playing documenting the effects, Gordon says 'Environmental physiologists have never been better poised to influence global conservation policy.'
The collection includes contributions from
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The Company of Biologists