Specially protected natural areas are the "climate refuge" for many species of birds and insects UK — escaping from the usual environmental conditions change, these types of first learn exactly reserves of the country, according to an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
One of the consequences of climate change is considered a "flight" of many species of animals and plants — shift the boundaries of their habitat due to changes in usual conditions, in particular the growth of the average temperature. A team led by Chris Thomas (Chris Thomas) in August 2011, published in the journal Science article, which estimated an average speed of "runaway" of the form of 17.6 kilometers of the equator and 12.2 meters "up" (height above Sea) for every 10 years.
In a new study, Thomas and his colleagues decided to investigate the role played in this process, "colonization" play reserves, national parks and other protected areas (PAs), which now account for over 10% of the land area. As the authors of an article criticizing the expansion of the global system of protected areas argue that climate change and other environmental factors can make reserves useless — plants and animals whose existence is supposed to protect these areas, will go out in search of the usual habitat.
The authors investigated in detail the changes in the boundaries of habitats within the UK for seven species of birds and butterflies, as well as more general information on 256 species of birds, spiders and insects, collected research groups, government agencies and amateur observations of wildlife. It turned out that 98% of all species as a "flight" of climate change disproportionately master it protected areas.
"(These) territory — as a kind of" islands of safety "in the new lands, which allow you to create new types of resistant populations as one moves to the north", — said Thomas, whose words the press service of the University of York.
In particular, for the seven species studied in detail, almost 40% of the cases were observed by representatives of the New Territories were in the reserves, who made up only 8.4% of these territories. In addition, some species, such as Provencal Warbler (Sylvia undata) and skippers comma (butterfly species Hesperia comma), learn almost exclusively reserves, while other species are less dependent on them.
Scientists point out that it is unclear how large the role of reserves, where the boundaries of their territory for the exploited man not as intense as in the UK. However, according to the researchers, the new findings indicate the importance of protected areas for biodiversity conservation, even in a changing climate.