From: BBC
Published February 7, 2009 09:32 AM

Climate history 'helps conserve'

A research group from North and South America used the climatic history of Brazil's Atlantic Forest to pinpoint likely hotspots of genetic diversity.

With frogs, at least, the idea worked, pinpointing places with a rich lineage.

Writing in the journal Science, they say this could set "new priorities" for conservation in regions likely to harbour interesting plants and animals.

"With this method, we can identify areas that have been working as refugia for biodiversity," said research leader Ana Carolina Carnaval from the University of California at Berkeley.


"These are areas that have remained climatically stable through time, where local communities have been able to persist.

"Despite the fact that we haven't sampled them exhaustively yet, we think there is a lot of undocumented, hidden diversity there, the potential for a lot of species still unknown to science."

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