A research team from the Universidade Federal de Goías in central Brazil investigated whether the current network of reserves for the region’s seasonally-dry forests was effective in conserving these threatened ecosystems over the long term.
The study used data on 16 forest plant species, obtained through GBIF and two Brazilian databases, to model which areas would be suitable for their survival under past, present and future climate conditions. The study concluded that many protected areas would lose importance in conserving these species in the future, due to climate change, and that current Brazilian reserves covered only a small proportion of the areas presenting stable climate conditions for the forests over time.
Nevertheless, the research found that long-term conservation of the forests may be partially achieved through the current network, and recommended that the reserves should be connected to enable species to move in response to changing conditions.
Photo: Flower of the Ceiba speciosa species, one of the plants included in the study. © Mauricio Mercadante. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0