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The Ability of Rare Eucalypt Species to Cope with Global Warming

Paper Reviewed
Booth, T.H. 2015. Using a global botanic gardens database to help assess the capabilities of rare eucalypt species to cope with climate change. International Forestry Review 17: 259-268.

Of early studies of extinction risk from climate change for both plants and animals, Booth (2015) writes that "the intrinsic ability of species to tolerate conditions outside those of their natural distributions was generally not considered." And, therefore, the Australian researcher decided to do what had typically not been done before, by pursuing this long-neglected approach to the subject.

Based on information pertaining to twelve rare eucalypt species obtained from the PlantSearch database of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International organization, Booth determined that "most of the 12 species are growing [right now!] at some botanic gardens under annual mean temperature conditions that are warmer than where they occur naturally."

This finding is extremely good news, not only for the rare eucalypt species involved in the study, but also (potentially) for many of the world's other plant species, which may also possess hidden abilities to adapt to a warming climate that have not been seriously considered in the past.

Posted 2 February 2016