• Open Access

Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change

Authors

  • Carla M. Sgrò,

    1.  Centre for Environmental Stress & Adaptation Research (CESAR) and Australian Centre for Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
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  • Andrew J. Lowe,

    1.  Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB), School of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia
    2.  Department for Environment and Heritage, State Herbarium of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia
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  • Ary A. Hoffmann

    1.  Department of Zoology, Centre for Environmental Stress & Adaptation Research (CESAR), The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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Carla M. Sgrò, Centre for Environmental Stress & Adaptation Research (CESAR) and Australian Centre for Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia. Tel.: + 61 3 9902 0332; fax: + 61 3 9905 5613; e-mail: carla.sgro@monash.edu

Abstract

Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation.

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