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Climate change and habitat conversion favour the same species

A new study shows the effects of deforestation and climate change are amplified into a one-two punch that pushes particularly vulnerable rainforest species towards extinction, while dry-climate species persist. The findings could help guide decisions about where land can be converted to agriculture while minimizing species losses.

 “The current and future climate of a region must be considered when evaluating the impact of habitat conversion,” said lead author Luke Frishkoff, a Stanford biology doctoral student at the time of the research. “By paying attention to current and future regional climate, agricultural landscapes may be modified in practical ways to minimize harm to, and maybe even benefit, wildlife.”

The paper, published in Ecology Letters, warns of the possible beginning of the Homogocene – a new era in which global biodiversity rapidly becomes more homogenous.