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Tropical rainforest and mountain species may be threatened by global warming
Date:10/9/2008

nges on the mountainside. But many may be unable to shift most mountainside forests in the tropics have been severely fragmented by human land use.

Meanwhile, tropical lowland rainforests, the warmest forests on Earth, face a challenge that has no parallel at higher latitudes. If the current occupants of the lowlands shift uphill, tracking their accustomed climate, there are few replacements waiting in the wings, currently living in even warmer places.

According to Colwell and colleagues, the threat of lowland attrition from warming climates faces about half the species they studied in Costa Ricaunless lowland species retain tolerances to higher temperatures developed millions of years ago when the world was much warmer.

Only further research can estimate the risk, but Colwell's report indicates that the impact of global climate change on some tropical rainforest and mountain species could be significant.


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Contact: Colin Poitras
colin.poitras@uconn.edu
860-486-4656
University of Connecticut
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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