Predicting the impacts of climate change on genetic diversity in an endangered lizard species

Dubey, Sylvain, Pike, David A., and Shine, Richard (2013) Predicting the impacts of climate change on genetic diversity in an endangered lizard species. Climatic Change, 117 (1-2). pp. 319-327.

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Many endangered species persist as a series of isolated populations, with some populations more genetically diverse than others. If climate change disproportionately threatens the most diverse populations, the species' ability to adapt (and hence its long-term viability) may be affected more severely than would be apparent by its numerical reduction. In the present study, we combine genetic data with modelling of species distributions under climate change to document this situation in an endangered lizard (Eulamprus leuraensis) from montane southeastern Australia. The species is known from only about 40 isolated swamps. Genetic diversity of lizard populations is greater in some sites than others, presumably reflecting consistently high habitat suitability over evolutionary time. Species distribution modelling suggests that the most genetically diverse populations are the ones most at risk from climate change, so that global warming will erode the species' genetic variability faster than it curtails the species' geographic distribution.

Item ID: 24376
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0165-0009
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2013 04:14
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 100%
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