HKU Ecologists study the buffering effects of forests on climate change impacts on insect communities, revealing the importance of forest regeneration

by the University of Hong Kong
August 11, 2021

The understanding of long-term responses of the fauna and flora in a world highly modified by deforestation, biological invasions or climate changes is paramount to develop the best conservation strategies. In tropical and subtropical regions, old datasets and specimens are scarce, limiting the monitoring of sites over time and thus informing the best strategies for the protection of biodiversity.

A team of scientists from the Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography Laboratory of the Research Division from Ecology and Biodiversity and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), along with colleagues in the UK and the USA, has studied long-term changes in species richness and composition of ants across different habitats in Hong Kong. Their results reveal the importance of forest regeneration in mitigating the increasing effects of extreme hot events for species survival, while temperature-mediated species turnover has been found for species living within open habitats.

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