Habitat refugia and climate change adaptation of rainforest species in Australia's wet tropics

Thornton peak, Daintree National Park

Researchers from the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University (funded by the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility), are working to identify climate refugia that could promote adaptation to climate change in rainforest species of Australia’s Wet Tropics. Major priorities are to identify existing refugia not currently included in the protected area network, along with sites where land degradation could potentially be reversed to strengthen refugia. Around 45 per cent of the region’s endemic rainforest species are found in just 25 per cent of the coolest rainforest and these limited areas of cool habitat could become increasingly important if species shift upslope in response to increasing temperatures.