The odds of being roared at with a Jaguar at a Mexican cloud forest are low, but this is exactly what occurred to me through a recent fieldwork expedition. I had been quite lucky to find a jaguar close up: these species are under extreme danger as a result of threat that climate change presents to their own habitat.
The Mexican cloud forest is one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the entire world. Tropical montane cloud forests are spectacular and atmospheric places. They typically occur between 2000 and 3500 metres above sea level and are usually formed by small trees and a high proportion of epiphytes, including bryophytes, lichens, ferns, mosses and orchids.
The plants from the canopy have accommodated tob “extract” water straight in the oceans through so called “flat precipitation”. Small water droplets in the cloud water float on the branches and leaves, and run or fall to the floor.
Natural during expansions, plants and animals could disperse between spots. Due to these dynamism, cloud Mexican cloud forest contains only a percent of Mexico, nevertheless harbours 10 percent of Mexican plants. Ten percent of all of the flowering plants from the Mexican cloud forests are endemic to this ecosystem.
Tropical records of human utilization of cloud forest and its sources date back into pre columbian civilisations. Cloud woods were a significant center of agricultural production critical to the booming of Mesoamerican civilization, where plants like corn, beans, peppers and tobacco have been domesticated. Many animal products were extracted, for example quetzal feathers for nice Aztec mind dresses.
The woods that remain are isolated and fragmented remnants of the first forest. Tropical montane cloud forests depend on a really special set of climatic conditions. PKv Games
The study for my PhD demonstrated that human-induced climate shift might have catastrophic results on Mexico’s fossil forests. My models forecast that by 2080, 68 percent of this area that now comprises cloud forest will get climatically unsuitable for this particular vegetation type. Furthermore, while 12 percent of Mexican cloud forest now happens within a secure area, 90 percent of these protected lands will shortly become climatically unsuitable.
To put it bluntly, secure places are in the wrong areas. Ecological concept tells us that this size of habitat reduction would lead to extinction of roughly 70 percent of Mexico’s unmanned aircraft woods vertebrate species.
Required to prevent this tragedy, and also an urgent priority would be to expand the protected area system to regions of low climatic vulnerability.
But why is this related to Australia? Mountain top they’re isolated “islands” of plant adapted to temperate and cooler climates. They shield highly specialised flora and special fauna that doesn’t happen anywhere else on the planet.
Contrary to Mexico, these woods are shielded against clearing, which makes climate change since the sole remaining substantial threat.
If the concentration of greenhouse gases isn’t decreased in coming years, montane ecosystems will probably not survive in their current form with anything in their current diversity. A close experience with a jaguar from the montane forests of Mexico is now something of yesteryear.