Slide 3: Adaptation I
From the perspective of a biological organism, there are several ways a species may adapt to changing climate. Firstly, they may be persisters. That is, they may be pre-adapted to the new climate, and will therefore persist in the new climatic envelope.
Dispersers are organism that will move with the climatic envelope - in other words, they will "track" the climate. They may be able to do this autonomously, or they may be facilitated dispersers that require human assistance in order to find their new habitat.
It is also likely that some species will benefit from the changed climatic conditions, and their range will grow due to the new climatic envelope being better suited to them than the previous envelope. Hence, these species are termed expanders.
We have excluded evolution as an adaptation option available to species under the current conditions of climate change. This is on the basis that the current rate of climate change is understood to be considerably faster than anything historically experienced, and it is unlikely that any species other than those with the shortest life cycles will be able to evolve at the same rate. This does not exclude the possibility that some species will adapt in the future to more stable climatic conditions after the change process is complete.