[Taxacom] Is this fake science?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Sep 2 17:43:39 CDT 2018


Can anyone see any sense in this sort of thing (which is becoming increasingly common around here): 

Rizvanovic, M. et al. 2018: Persistence of genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure of three New Zealand forest beetles under climate change. Diversity and distributions, https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12834

It is based on a very detailed climate change model for N.Z. (which was not developed by biologists, but by climate scientists).

Anyway, it is very unclear (which is in itself a bad thing for a scientific paper) what exactly constitutes the input data for each species, but I can only assume that it is just the current known distribution for the species. But, if that is it, then it seems to me to be all based on the HIGHLY IMPLAUSIBLE assumption that species distributions all respond in the same way to temperature changes (presumably average temperature changes, since real life situations involve significant fluctuations). I can see how the distribution of a frost sensitive plant might respond to changes in minimum local temperatures (i.e. too many frosts will eliminate the species), but I cannot make any sense of the idea that distributions of all species will respond in the same way (and in a simple and predictable detailed way) to changes in (average) local temperatures! What am I missing here???

Stephen

PS: Check out fig. 1(a) - seems "odd", to say the least, and doesn't seem to illustrate the conclusions that the authors claim!


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