Are evolutionary refugia traps for endemic species?

This project aims to determine whether species that have small geographic ranges and which live in historically stable refugia have evolved narrow climatic tolerances. The project will compare such species with more widespread, related species living in the same areas and combine field- and lab-based estimates of physiological tolerances with genomic estimates of population history and diversity. The expected outcome is to test the prediction from evolutionary theory that small-range, refugial species are intrinsically more sensitivity to climatic change. This addresses a fundamental question in evolution and ecology and should provide improved guidance for ecological management of biodiversity hotspots.