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      South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA): review of current knowledge, constraints and future needs for documenting spider diversity (Arachnida: Araneae)

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      Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa

      Informa UK Limited

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          Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Conservation

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            Elevation increases in moth assemblages over 42 years on a tropical mountain.

            Physiological research suggests that tropical insects are particularly sensitive to temperature, but information on their responses to climate change has been lacking-even though the majority of all terrestrial species are insects and their diversity is concentrated in the tropics. Here, we provide evidence that tropical insect species have already undertaken altitude increases, confirming the global reach of climate change impacts on biodiversity. In 2007, we repeated a historical altitudinal transect, originally carried out in 1965 on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, sampling 6 moth assemblages between 1,885 and 3,675 m elevation. We estimate that the average altitudes of individuals of 102 montane moth species, in the family Geometridae, increased by a mean of 67 m over the 42 years. Our findings indicate that tropical species are likely to be as sensitive as temperate species to climate warming, and we urge ecologists to seek other historic tropical samples to carry out similar repeat surveys. These observed changes, in combination with the high diversity and thermal sensitivity of insects, suggest that large numbers of tropical insect species could be affected by climate warming. As the highest mountain in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, Mount Kinabalu is a globally important refuge for terrestrial species that become restricted to high altitudes by climate warming.
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              What we know and don't know about Earth's missing biodiversity.

              Estimates of non-microbial diversity on Earth range from 2 million to over 50 million species, with great uncertainties in numbers of insects, fungi, nematodes, and deep-sea organisms. We summarize estimates for major taxa, the methods used to obtain them, and prospects for further discoveries. Major challenges include frequent synonymy, the difficulty of discriminating certain species by morphology alone, and the fact that many undiscovered species are small, difficult to find, or have small geographic ranges. Cryptic species could be numerous in some taxa. Novel techniques, such as DNA barcoding, new databases, and crowd-sourcing, could greatly accelerate the rate of species discovery. Such advances are timely. Most missing species probably live in biodiversity hotspots, where habitat destruction is rife, and so current estimates of extinction rates from known species are too low. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa
                Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa
                Informa UK Limited
                0035-919X
                2154-0098
                August 21 2015
                September 02 2015
                October 07 2015
                September 02 2015
                : 70
                : 3
                : 245-275
                Article
                10.1080/0035919X.2015.1088486
                © 2015

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