Predicting the Fate of Eucalypts

This review analyses studies on the potential effect of climate change on natural stands of eucalypts of Australia. The genus Eucalyptus includes 100 species, none of which have been listed as extinct since the early 20th century, though 50 are now considered vulnerable or endangered.

Red-capped Gum (Eucalyptus erythrocorys) by ento63 via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Red-capped Gum (Eucalyptus erythrocorys) by ento63 via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

This review analyses studies on the potential effect of climate change on natural stands of eucalypts of Australia. The genus Eucalyptus includes 100 species, none of which have been listed as extinct since the early 20th century, though 50 are now considered vulnerable or endangered. Climate change will make trees like eucalypts less likely to evolve or disperse, so predicting their ability to tolerate new climatic conditions is key to understanding their future. 

The authors analysed numerous studies and used global occurrence data accessed via GBIF in BIOCLIM and MAXENT models that highlight the importance of considering not only natural distributions but also climatic adaptability. They conclude that changing climates will make prediction of species interactions, pest and diseases particularly challenging.

Citations

Booth, T. H., Broadhurst, L. M., Pinkard, E., Prober, S. M., Dillon, S. K., Bush, D., … Young, A. G. (2015). Native forests and climate change: Lessons from eucalypts. Forest Ecology and Management, 347, 18–29. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.03.002

Subject