Assisted migration as a climate change adaptation strategy: lessons from restoration and plant reintroductions

Pati Vitt*, Pairsa N. Belmaric, Riley Book, Melissa Curran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate change is thought to threaten between 25% and 50% of global plant biodiversity. In response to this looming crisis, the calls for the translocation, or assisted migration, of species to ensure the survival of this biodiversity have been increasing. The concept has its detractors, and is not without risk, but few studies have documented the success of the approach or veracity of the risk. Here we review both the ecological restoration literature and the plant reintroduction literature to discover insights into the promises and pitfalls of translocating species as an adaptation strategy in the face of our changing climate. Although habitat restoration and the assisted migration of rare plant species have different objectives and goals, they share the practice of translocating species from their site of origin to a new one. It is primarily the scale at which the movement of those species occurs that distinguishes the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-261
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • assisted colonization
  • assisted migration
  • ecological restoration
  • global biodiversity
  • managed relocation
  • seed provenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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