Study: Climate change threatens to water down Brazil’s Cerrado’s rich biodiversity

This article discusses how climate change threatens to water down Cerrado’s rich biodiversity.

  • The new study by researchers in Brazil shows that climate change will lead to local extinctions of several mammal species throughout the Cerrado, the vast tropical savanna biome.
  • Immigration of species from other biomes, including the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest, will be higher than regional extinctions. But because these species are commonly found, it will still lead to an overall loss in biodiversity in most regions of the Cerrado.
  • The widespread erosion of differences between ecological communities is one of the main drivers of loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Future distributions of species based on climate change must be considered in conservation decisions and the development of protected areas in the Cerrado, the researchers say.

The study, published in March in the journal Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation by ecologist José Hidasi-Neto and colleagues at the Federal University of Goiás, Brazil, found a general decrease in species richness, and a homogenization pattern in certain areas, like the southern Cerrado, despite the high rate of influx of species from other biomes into the savanna.

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