Biological Collections Are Vital to Preserving Species in the Face of Climate Change

September 29, 2014 3:23 PM

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Among the many different resources that scientists will use to try to forestall some of the effects of climate change, the nation's treasure trove of preserved plants, animals, and microscopic organisms is undoubtedly one of the least known to most people. But these biological collections represent a very powerful tool for understanding how climate change is likely to affect life on Earth.

Our nation has a rich heritage in such collections, which are held at about 1,000 scientific research institutions such as universities, natural history museums, and botanical gardens. What are in these collections? They consist of such things as the skeletons and skins of mammals, birds and reptile...

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