Quebec’s protected areas poised to become biodiversity refuges of continental importance
A team of researchers believe that Quebec’s protected areas are poised to become biodiversity refuges of continental importance. They used ecological niche modeling to calculate potential changes in the presence of 529 species in about 1/3 of the protected areas in southern Quebec almost all of which were under 50 km2 in size. Their results suggest that fifty - eighty years from now (between 2071–2100) close to half of the protected regions of southern Quebec may see a species turnover of greater than 80 %. The researcher team, from l’Université du Québec à Rimouski, le Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, and McGill University believe that, depending on the region, the gain in the number of species of birds, amphibians, trees, and vascular flowering plants could range from 12 and 530 %. It is the first study to examine in such details the potential effects of climate change on the biodiversity of a large network of northern protected areas.
The researchers believe that the scale and rapidity of the species turnover will also result in a necessary reexamination of current conservation paradigms, since it will be impossible to preserve a snapshot of today’s biodiversity in the National Parks.
To read full release: https://mcgill.ca/newsroom/node/39582/