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Conservation implications of adaptation to tropical climates from a historical perspective

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Abstract

Tropical climates and the biodiversity associated with them have long interested natural historians. Alexander von Humboldt inspired a generation of scientists, such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, to observe and study tropical ecosystems. More recently, the mid‐20th century saw Theodosius Dobzhansky and Daniel Janzen lay the foundations for studying adaptation to tropical climates. Now in the 21st century, we are beginning to realize the threats posed by current and future climate change to tropical populations which, despite relatively low levels of projected warming for low‐latitude regions, face potentially significant detrimental impacts. Building on the insights of researchers in decades and centuries past, improved understanding of tropical ecology, evolution and biogeography will help us to conceive how future global change will impact on biodiversity.
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Document Type: Guest Editorial

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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