Identifying the species most vulnerable to extinction as a result of climate change is a necessary first step in mitigating biodiversity decline. Species distribution modeling (SDM) is a commonly used tool to assess potential climate change impacts on distributions of species. We use SDMs to predict geographic ranges for 243 birds of Australian tropical savannas, and to project changes in species richness and ranges under a future climate scenario between 1990 and 2080. Realistic predictions require recognition of the variability in species capacity to track climatically suitable environments. Here we assess the effect of dispersal on model results by using three approaches: full dispersal, no dispersal and a partial-dispersal scenario permitting species to track climate change at a rate of 30 km per decade. As expected, the projected distributions and richness patterns are highly sensitive to the dispersal scenario. Projected future range sizes decreased for 66% of species if full dispersal was assumed, but for 89% of species when no dispersal was assumed. However, realistic future predictions should not assume a single dispersal scenario for all species and as such, we assigned each species to the most appropriate dispersal category based on individual mobility and habitat specificity; this permitted the best estimates of where species will be in the future. Under this “realistic” dispersal scenario, projected ranges sizes decreased for 67% of species but showed that migratory and tropical-endemic birds are predicted to benefit from climate change with increasing distributional area. Richness hotspots of tropical savanna birds are expected to move, increasing in southern savannas and southward along the east coast of Australia, but decreasing in the arid zone. Understanding the complexity of effects of climate change on species’ range sizes by incorporating dispersal capacities is a crucial step toward developing adaptation policies for the conservation of vulnerable species.
Conservation; dispersal; migration; Maxent; niche; species distribution modelling; vulnerability
The flora of California, a global biodiversity hotspot, includes 2387 endemic plant taxa. With anticipated climate change, we project that up to 66% will experience >80% reductions in range size within a century. These results are comparable with other studies of fewer species or just samples of a region's endemics. Projected reductions depend on the magnitude of future emissions and on the ability of species to disperse from their current locations. California's varied terrain could cause species to move in very different directions, breaking up present-day floras. However, our projections also identify regions where species undergoing severe range reductions may persist. Protecting these potential future refugia and facilitating species dispersal will be essential to maintain biodiversity in the face of climate change.
In an era when global biodiversity is increasingly impacted by rapidly changing climate, efforts to conserve global biodiversity may be compromised if we do not consider the uneven distribution of climate-induced threats. Here, via a novel application of an aggregate Regional Climate Change Index (RCCI) that combines changes in mean annual temperature and precipitation with changes in their interannual variability, we assess multi-dimensional climate changes across the “Global 200” ecoregions – a set of priority ecoregions designed to “achieve the goal of saving a broad diversity of the Earth’s ecosystems” – over the 21st century. Using an ensemble of 62 climate scenarios, our analyses show that, between 1991–2010 and 2081–2100, 96% of the ecoregions considered will be likely (more than 66% probability) to face moderate-to-pronounced climate changes, when compared to the magnitudes of change during the past five decades. Ecoregions at high northern latitudes are projected to experience most pronounced climate change, followed by those in the Mediterranean Basin, Amazon Basin, East Africa, and South Asia. Relatively modest RCCI signals are expected over ecoregions in Northwest South America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, yet with considerable uncertainties. Although not indicative of climate-change impacts per se, the RCCI-based assessment can help policy-makers gain a quantitative and comprehensive overview of the unevenly distributed climate risks across the G200 ecoregions. Whether due to significant climate change signals or large uncertainties, the ecoregions highlighted in the assessment deserve special attention in more detailed impact assessments to inform effective conservation strategies under future climate change.
Over the past few decades, land-use and climate change have led to substantial range contractions and species extinctions. Even more dramatic changes to global land cover are projected for this century. We used the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios to evaluate the exposure of all 8,750 land bird species to projected land-cover changes due to climate and land-use change. For this first baseline assessment, we assumed stationary geographic ranges that may overestimate actual losses in geographic range. Even under environmentally benign scenarios, at least 400 species are projected to suffer >50% range reductions by the year 2050 (over 900 by the year 2100). Although expected climate change effects at high latitudes are significant, species most at risk are predominantly narrow-ranged and endemic to the tropics, where projected range contractions are driven by anthropogenic land conversions. Most of these species are currently not recognized as imperiled. The causes, magnitude and geographic patterns of potential range loss vary across socioeconomic scenarios, but all scenarios (even the most environmentally benign ones) result in large declines of many species. Whereas climate change will severely affect biodiversity, in the near future, land-use change in tropical countries may lead to yet greater species loss. A vastly expanded reserve network in the tropics, coupled with more ambitious goals to reduce climate change, will be needed to minimize global extinctions.
Land conversion and climate change have already had significant impacts on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. Using future land-cover projections from the recently completed Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, we found that 950–1,800 of the world's 8,750 species of land birds could be imperiled by climate change and land conversion by the year 2100. These projections are based on the assumption that birds will not dramatically shift their ranges in response to a changing climate, a process that would lessen the range contractions we predict. While climate change will be the principal driver of range contractions at higher latitudes, our projections reveal that land conversion (e.g., deforestation, conversion of grasslands to croplands, etc.) will have a much larger effect on species that inhabit the tropics. This is because birds in the tropics are especially diverse and tend to have small ranges, making them particularly vulnerable to extinction; in contrast, birds at higher latitudes are less diverse and tend to have large ranges. A vastly expanded reserve network in the tropics, coupled with more ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and monitor biodiversity impacts, will be needed to minimize global extinctions.
Evaluating changes in range size of land bird species using Millenium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios reveals that land conversion, as well as climate change, will lead to the decline of many species, particularly those in the tropics.
Climate change is a threat to biodiversity, and adaptation measures should be considered in biodiversity conservation planning. Protected areas (PA) are expected to be impacted by climate change and improving their connectivity with biological corridors (BC) has been proposed as a potential adaptation measure, although assessing its effectiveness remains a challenge. In Mesoamerica, efforts to preserve the biodiversity have led to the creation of a regional network of PA and, more recently, BC. This study evaluates the role of BC for facilitating plant dispersal between PA under climate change in Mesoamerica. A spatially explicit dynamic model (cellular automaton) was developed to simulate species dispersal under different climate and conservation policy scenarios. Plant functional types (PFT) were defined based on a range of dispersal rates and vegetation types to represent the diversity of species in the region. The impacts of climate change on PA and the role of BC for dispersal were assessed spatially. Results show that most impacted PA are those with low altitudinal range in hot, dry, or high latitude areas. PA with low altitudinal range in high cool areas benefit the most from corridors. The most important corridors cover larger areas and have high altitude gradients. Only the fastest PFT can keep up with the expected change in climate and benefit from corridors for dispersal. We conclude that the spatial assessment of the vulnerability of PA and the role of corridors in facilitating dispersal can help conservation planning under a changing climate.
Biodiversity conservation policy; biological corridors; cellular automaton; climate change adaptation; connectivity; Holdridge; landscape fragmentation; MAPSS; migration; species dispersal
Soil organic carbon (SOC) represents a significant pool of carbon within the biosphere. Climatic shifts in temperature and precipitation have a major influence on the decomposition and amount of SOC stored within an ecosystem and that released into the atmosphere. We have linked net primary production (NPP) algorithms, which include the impact of enhanced atmospheric CO2 on plant growth, to the SOCRATES terrestrial carbon model to estimate changes in SOC for the Australia continent between the years 1990 and 2100 in response to climate changes generated by the CSIRO Mark 2 Global Circulation Model (GCM).
We estimate organic carbon storage in the topsoil (0–10 cm) of the Australian continent in 1990 to be 8.1 Gt. This equates to 19 and 34 Gt in the top 30 and 100 cm of soil, respectively. By the year 2100, under a low emissions scenario, topsoil organic carbon stores of the continent will have increased by 0.6% (49 Mt C). Under a high emissions scenario, the Australian continent becomes a source of CO2 with a net reduction of 6.4% (518 Mt) in topsoil carbon, when compared to no climate change. This is partially offset by the predicted increase in NPP of 20.3%
Climate change impacts must be studied holistically, requiring integration of climate, plant, ecosystem and soil sciences. The SOCRATES terrestrial carbon cycling model provides realistic estimates of changes in SOC storage in response to climate change over the next century, and confirms the need for greater consideration of soils in assessing the full impact of climate change and the development of quantifiable mitigation strategies.
Species are influenced by multiple environmental stressors acting simultaneously. Our objective was to compare the expected effects of climate change and invasion of non-indigenous rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) on cisco (Coregonus artedii) population extirpations at a regional level. We assembled a database of over 13,000 lakes in Wisconsin, USA, summarising fish occurrence, lake morphology, water chemistry, and climate. We used A1, A2, and B1 scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of future temperature conditions for 15 general circulation models in 2046–2065 and 2081–2100 totalling 78 projections. Logistic regression indicated that cisco tended to occur in cooler, larger, and deeper lakes. Depending upon the amount of warming, 25–70% of cisco populations are predicted to be extirpated by 2100. In addition, cisco are influenced by the invasion of rainbow smelt, which prey on young cisco. Projecting current estimates of rainbow smelt spread and impact into the future will result in the extirpation of about 1% of cisco populations by 2100 in Wisconsin. Overall, the effect of climate change is expected to overshadow that of species invasion as a driver of coldwater fish population extirpations. Our results highlight the potentially dominant role of climate change as a driver of biotic change.
Global climate change appears to be one of the main threats to biodiversity in the near future and is already affecting the distribution of many species. Currently threatened species are a special concern while the extent to which they are sensitive to climate change remains uncertain. Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii) is classified as endangered and a conservation focus on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Using measures of species range shift, we explored how the distribution of Przewalski's gazelle may be impacted by projected climate change based on a maximum entropy approach. We also evaluated the uncertainty in the projections of the risks arising from climate change. Modeling predicted the Przewalski's gazelle would be sensitive to future climate change. As the time horizon increased, the strength of effects from climate change increased. Even assuming unlimited dispersal capacity of gazelles, a moderate decrease to complete loss of range was projected by 2080 under different thresholds for transforming the probability prediction to presence/absence data. Current localities of gazelles will undergo a decrease in their occurrence probability. Projections of the impacts of climate change were significantly affected by thresholds and general circulation models. This study suggests climate change clearly poses a severe threat and increases the extinction risk to Przewalski's gazelle. Our findings 1) confirm that endangered endemic species is highly vulnerable to climate change and 2) highlight the fact that forecasting impacts of climate change needs an assessment of the uncertainty. It is extremely important that conservation strategies consider the predicted geographical shifts and be planned with full knowledge of the reliability of projected impacts of climate change.
The future management of commercially exploited species is challenging because techniques used to predict the future distribution of stocks under climate change are currently inadequate. We projected the future distribution and abundance of two commercially harvested abalone species (blacklip abalone, Haliotis rubra and greenlip abalone, H. laevigata) inhabiting coastal South Australia, using multiple species distribution models (SDM) and for decadal time slices through to 2100. Projections are based on two contrasting global greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The SDMs identified August (winter) Sea Surface Temperature (SST) as the best descriptor of abundance and forecast that warming of winter temperatures under both scenarios may be beneficial to both species by allowing increased abundance and expansion into previously uninhabited coasts. This range expansion is unlikely to be realised, however, as projected warming of March SST is projected to exceed temperatures which cause up to 10-fold increases in juvenile mortality. By linking fine-resolution forecasts of sea surface temperature under different climate change scenarios to SDMs and physiological experiments, we provide a practical first approximation of the potential impact of climate-induced change on two species of marine invertebrates in the same fishery.
Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50–60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes.
Climates are changing rapidly, producing warm climate conditions globally not previously observed in modern history. Malaria is of great concern as a cause of human mortality and morbidity, particularly across Africa, thanks in large part to the presence there of a particularly competent suite of mosquito vector species.
I derive spatially explicit estimates of human populations living in regions newly suitable climatically for populations of two key Anopheles gambiae vector complex species in Africa over the coming 50 years, based on ecological niche model projections over two global climate models, two scenarios of climate change, and detailed spatial summaries of human population distributions.
For both species, under all scenarios, given the changing spatial distribution of appropriate conditions and the current population distribution, the models predict a reduction of 11.3–30.2% in the percentage of the overall population living in areas climatically suitable for these vector species in coming decades, but reductions and increases are focused in different regions: malaria vector suitability is likely to decrease in West Africa, but increase in eastern and southern Africa.
Climate change effects on African malaria vectors shift their distributional potential from west to east and south, which has implications for overall numbers of people exposed to these vector species. Although the total is reduced, malaria is likely to pose novel public health problems in areas where it has not previously been common.
A comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems over this century is developed, up to 2080 and at a global level, albeit with significant regional detail. To this end an integrated ecological–economic modelling framework is employed, encompassing climate scenarios, agro-ecological zoning information, socio-economic drivers, as well as world food trade dynamics. Specifically, global simulations are performed using the FAO/IIASA agro-ecological zone model, in conjunction with IIASAs global food system model, using climate variables from five different general circulation models, under four different socio-economic scenarios from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. First, impacts of different scenarios of climate change on bio-physical soil and crop growth determinants of yield are evaluated on a 5′×5′ latitude/longitude global grid; second, the extent of potential agricultural land and related potential crop production is computed. The detailed bio-physical results are then fed into an economic analysis, to assess how climate impacts may interact with alternative development pathways, and key trends expected over this century for food demand and production, and trade, as well as key composite indices such as risk of hunger and malnutrition, are computed. This modelling approach connects the relevant bio-physical and socio-economic variables within a unified and coherent framework to produce a global assessment of food production and security under climate change. The results from the study suggest that critical impact asymmetries due to both climate and socio-economic structures may deepen current production and consumption gaps between developed and developing world; it is suggested that adaptation of agricultural techniques will be central to limit potential damages under climate change.
agriculture; crop production; climate change; food security; sub-Saharan Africa; risk of hunger
The Mediterranean basin is considered a hotspot of biological diversity with a long history of modification of natural ecosystems by human activities, and is one of the regions that will face extensive changes in climate. For 181 terrestrial mammals (68% of all Mediterranean mammals), we used an ensemble forecasting approach to model the future (approx. 2100) potential distribution under climate change considering five climate change model outputs for two climate scenarios. Overall, a substantial number of Mediterranean mammals will be severely threatened by future climate change, particularly endemic species. Moreover, we found important changes in potential species richness owing to climate change, with some areas (e.g. montane region in central Italy) gaining species, while most of the region will be losing species (mainly Spain and North Africa). Existing protected areas (PAs) will probably be strongly influenced by climate change, with most PAs in Africa, the Middle East and Spain losing a substantial number of species, and those PAs gaining species (e.g. central Italy and southern France) will experience a substantial shift in species composition.
climate change; ensemble modelling; extinction risk; species distribution models; protected areas
We quantified horizontal transport patterns and the net exchange of nutrients between shallow regions and the open sea in the Baltic proper. A coupled biogeochemical–physical circulation model was used for transient simulations 1961–2100. The model was driven by regional downscaling of the IPCC climate change scenario A1B from two global General Circulation Models in combination with two nutrient load scenarios. Modeled nutrient transports followed mainly the large-scale internal water circulation and showed only small circulation changes in the future projections. The internal nutrient cycling and exchanges between shallow and deeper waters became intensified, and the internal removal of phosphorus became weaker in the warmer future climate. These effects counteracted the impact from nutrient load reductions according to the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The net effect of climate change and nutrient reductions was an increased net import of dissolved inorganic phosphorus to shallow areas in the Baltic proper.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0322-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Modeling; Transports; Nutrients; Baltic Sea; Coastal exchange; Climate
Global climate change and invasions by nonnative species rank among the top concerns for agents of biological loss in coming decades. Although each of these themes has seen considerable attention in the modeling and forecasting communities, their joint effects remain little explored and poorly understood. We developed ecological niche models for 1804 species from the European flora, which we projected globally to identify areas of potential distribution, both at present and across 4 scenarios of future (2055) climates. As expected from previous studies, projections based on the CGCM1 climate model were more extreme than those based on the HadCM3 model, and projections based on the a2 emissions scenario were more extreme than those based on the b2 emissions scenario. However, less expected were the highly nonlinear and contrasting projected changes in distributional areas among continents: increases in distributional potential in Europe often corresponded with decreases on other continents, and species seeing expanding potential on one continent often saw contracting potential on others. In conclusion, global climate change will have complex effects on invasive potential of plant species. The shifts and changes identified in this study suggest strongly that biological communities will see dramatic reorganizations in coming decades owing to shifting invasive potential by nonnative species.
Mosquito-borne diseases are climate sensitive and there has been increasing concern over the impact of climate change on future disease risk. This paper projected the potential future risk of Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease under climate change scenarios in Queensland, Australia.
We obtained data on notified BFV cases, climate (maximum and minimum temperature and rainfall), socio-economic and tidal conditions for current period 2000–2008 for coastal regions in Queensland. Grid-data on future climate projections for 2025, 2050 and 2100 were also obtained. Logistic regression models were built to forecast the otential risk of BFV disease distribution under existing climatic, socio-economic and tidal conditions. The model was applied to estimate the potential geographic distribution of BFV outbreaks under climate change scenarios.
The predictive model had good model accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. Maps on potential risk of future BFV disease indicated that disease would vary significantly across coastal regions in Queensland by 2100 due to marked differences in future rainfall and temperature projections.
We conclude that the results of this study demonstrate that the future risk of BFV disease would vary across coastal regions in Queensland. These results may be helpful for public health decision making towards developing effective risk management strategies for BFV disease control and prevention programs in Queensland.
Future climate change is predicted to advance faster than the postglacial warming. Migration may therefore become a key driver for future development of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. For 140 European plant species we computed past range shifts since the last glacial maximum and future range shifts for a variety of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios and global circulation models (GCMs). Range shift rates were estimated by means of species distribution modelling (SDM). With process-based seed dispersal models we estimated species-specific migration rates for 27 dispersal modes addressing dispersal by wind (anemochory) for different wind conditions, as well as dispersal by mammals (dispersal on animal's coat – epizoochory and dispersal by animals after feeding and digestion – endozoochory) considering different animal species. Our process-based modelled migration rates generally exceeded the postglacial range shift rates indicating that the process-based models we used are capable of predicting migration rates that are in accordance with realized past migration. For most of the considered species, the modelled migration rates were considerably lower than the expected future climate change induced range shift rates. This implies that most plant species will not entirely be able to follow future climate-change-induced range shifts due to dispersal limitation. Animals with large day- and home-ranges are highly important for achieving high migration rates for many plant species, whereas anemochory is relevant for only few species.
Global biodiversity is under significant threat from the combined effects of human-induced climate and land-use change. Covering 12% of the Earth's terrestrial surface, protected areas are crucial for conserving biodiversity and supporting ecological processes beneficial to human well-being, but their selection and design are usually uninformed about future global change. Here, we quantify the exposure of the global reserve network to projected climate and land-use change according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and set these threats in relation to the conservation value and capacity of biogeographic and geopolitical regions. We find that geographical patterns of past human impact on the land cover only poorly predict those of forecasted change, thus revealing the inadequacy of existing global conservation prioritization templates. Projected conservation risk, measured as regional levels of land-cover change in relation to area protected, is the greatest at high latitudes (due to climate change) and tropics/subtropics (due to land-use change). Only some high-latitude nations prone to high conservation risk are also of high conservation value, but their high relative wealth may facilitate additional conservation efforts. In contrast, most low-latitude nations tend to be of high conservation value, but they often have limited capacity for conservation which may exacerbate the global biodiversity extinction crisis. While our approach will clearly benefit from improved land-cover projections and a thorough understanding of how species range will shift under climate change, our results provide a first global quantitative demonstration of the urgent need to consider future environmental change in reserve-based conservation planning. They further highlight the pressing need for new reserves in target regions and support a much extended ‘north–south’ transfer of conservation resources that maximizes biodiversity conservation while mitigating global climate change.
conservation planning; conservation priorities; protected areas; future land-use and climate change; biodiversity
Current methods of assessing climate-induced shifts of species distributions rarely account for species interactions and usually ignore potential differences in response times of interacting taxa to climate change. Here, we used species-richness data from 1005 breeding bird and 1417 woody plant species in Kenya and employed model-averaged coefficients from regression models and median climatic forecasts assembled across 15 climate-change scenarios to predict bird species richness under climate change. Forecasts assuming an instantaneous response of woody plants and birds to climate change suggested increases in future bird species richness across most of Kenya whereas forecasts assuming strongly lagged woody plant responses to climate change indicated a reversed trend, i.e. reduced bird species richness. Uncertainties in predictions of future bird species richness were geographically structured, mainly owing to uncertainties in projected precipitation changes. We conclude that assessments of future species responses to climate change are very sensitive to current uncertainties in regional climate-change projections, and to the inclusion or not of time-lagged interacting taxa. We expect even stronger effects for more specialized plant–animal associations. Given the slow response time of woody plant distributions to climate change, current estimates of future biodiversity of many animal taxa may be both biased and too optimistic.
biodiversity change; biotic interactions; climate-change impacts; general circulation model; predictive model; uncertainty
Accelerated global warming is predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) due to increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The climate changes are anticipated to have a long-term impact on human health, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, water resources and vegetation. Due to rising sea levels, low lying coastal regions will be flooded, farmlands will be threatened and scarcity of fresh water resources will be aggravated. This will in turn cause increased human suffering in different parts of the world. Spread of disease vectors will contribute towards high mortality, along with the heat related deaths. Arid and hot climatic regions will face devastating effects risking survival of the fragile plant species, wild animals, and other desert ecosystems. The paper presents future changes in temperature, precipitation and humidity and their direct and indirect potential impacts on human health in the coastal regions of the Gulf countries including Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. The analysis is based on the long-term changes in the values of temperature, precipitation and humidity as predicted by the global climatic simulation models under different scenarios of GHG emission levels. Monthly data on temperature, precipitation, and humidity were retrieved from IPCC databases for longitude 41.25°E to 61.875°E and latitude 9.278°N to 27.833°N. Using an average of 1970 to 2000 values as baseline, the changes in the humidity, temperature and precipitation were predicted for the period 2020 to 2050 and 2070 to 2099. Based on epidemiological studies on various diseases associated with the change in temperature, humidity and precipitation in arid and hot regions, empirical models were developed to assess human health risk in the Gulf region to predict elevated levels of diseases and mortality rates under different emission scenarios as developed by the IPCC. The preliminary assessment indicates increased mortality rates due to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, thermal stress, and increased frequency of infectious vector borne diseases in the region between 2070 and 2099.
Climate change; Human health; Gulf countries
Forests occur across diverse biomes, each of which shows a specific composition of plant communities associated with the particular climate regimes. Predicted future climate change will have impacts on the vulnerability and productivity of forests; in some regions higher temperatures will extend the growing season and thus improve forest productivity, while changed annual precipitation patterns may show disadvantageous effects in areas, where water availability is restricted. While adaptation of forests to predicted future climate scenarios has been intensively studied, less attention was paid to mitigation strategies such as the introduction of tree species well adapted to changing environmental conditions.
We simulated the development of managed forest ecosystems in Germany for the time period between 2000 and 2100 under different forest management regimes and climate change scenarios. The management regimes reflect different rotation periods, harvesting intensities and species selection for reforestations. The climate change scenarios were taken from the IPCC's Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES). We used the scenarios A1B (rapid and successful economic development) and B1 (high level of environmental and social consciousness combined with a globally coherent approach to a more sustainable development). Our results indicate that the effects of different climate change scenarios on the future productivity and species composition of German forests are minor compared to the effects of forest management.
The inherent natural adaptive capacity of forest ecosystems to changing environmental conditions is limited by the long life time of trees. Planting of adapted species and forest management will reduce the impact of predicted future climate change on forests.
Climate change is expected to aggravate feed and food safety problems of crops; however, quantitative estimates are scarce. This study aimed to estimate impacts of climate change effects on deoxynivalenol contamination of wheat and maize grown in the Netherlands by 2040. Quantitative modelling was applied, considering both direct effects of changing climate on toxin contamination and indirect effects via shifts in crop phenology. Climate change projections for the IPCC A1B emission scenario were used for the scenario period 2031-2050 relative to the baseline period of 1975-1994. Climatic data from two different global and regional climate model combinations were used. A weather generator was applied for downscaling climate data to local conditions. Crop phenology models and prediction models for DON contamination used, each for winter wheat and grain maize. Results showed that flowering and full maturity of both wheat and maize will advance with future climate. Flowering advanced on average 5 and 11 days for wheat, and 7 and 14 days for maize (two climate model combinations). Full maturity was on average 10 and 17 days earlier for wheat, and 19 and 36 days earlier for maize. On the country level, contamination of wheat with deoxynivalenol decreased slightly, but not significantly. Variability between regions was large, and individual regions showed a significant increase in deoxynivalenol concentrations. For maize, an overall decrease in deoxynivalenol contamination was projected, which was significant for one climate model combination, but not significant for the other one. In general, results disagree with previous reported expectations of increased feed and food safety hazards under climate change. This study illustrated the relevance of using quantitative models to estimate the impacts of climate change effects on food safety, and of considering both direct and indirect effects when assessing climate change impacts on crops and related food safety hazards.
In this study, we evaluated the potential impact of climate change on the distributions of Turkey’s songbirds in the 21st century by modelling future distributions of 20 resident and nine migratory species under two global climate change scenarios. We combined verified data from an ornithological citizen science initiative (www.kusbank.org) with maximum entropy modeling and eight bioclimatic variables to estimate species distributions and projections for future time periods. Model predictions for resident and migratory species showed high variability, with some species projected to lose and others projected to gain suitable habitat. Our study helps improve the understanding of the current and potential future distributions of Turkey’s songbirds and their responses to climate change, highlights effective strategies to maximize avian conservation efforts in the study region, and provides a model for using citizen science data for biodiversity research in a large developing country with few professional field biologists. Our results demonstrate that climate change will not affect every species equally in Turkey. Expected range reductions in some breeding species will increase the risk of local extinction, whereas others are likely to expand their ranges.
Global climate change is affecting the distribution of marine species and is thought to represent a threat to biodiversity. Previous studies project expansion of species range for some species and local extinction elsewhere under climate change. Such range shifts raise concern for species whose long-term persistence is already threatened by other human disturbances such as fishing. However, few studies have attempted to assess the effects of future climate change on threatened vertebrate marine species using a multi-model approach. There has also been a recent surge of interest in climate change impacts on protected areas. This study applies three species distribution models and two sets of climate model projections to explore the potential impacts of climate change on marine species by 2050. A set of species in the North Sea, including seven threatened and ten major commercial species were used as a case study. Changes in habitat suitability in selected candidate protected areas around the UK under future climatic scenarios were assessed for these species. Moreover, change in the degree of overlap between commercial and threatened species ranges was calculated as a proxy of the potential threat posed by overfishing through bycatch. The ensemble projections suggest northward shifts in species at an average rate of 27 km per decade, resulting in small average changes in range overlap between threatened and commercially exploited species. Furthermore, the adverse consequences of climate change on the habitat suitability of protected areas were projected to be small. Although the models show large variation in the predicted consequences of climate change, the multi-model approach helps identify the potential risk of increased exposure to human stressors of critically endangered species such as common skate (Dipturus batis) and angelshark (Squatina squatina).
The conservation efficiency of Protected Areas (PA) is influenced by the health and characteristics of the surrounding landscape matrix. Fragmentation of adjacent lands interrupts ecological flows within PAs and will decrease the ability of species to shift their distribution as climate changes. For five periods across the 21st century, we assessed changes to the extent of primary land, secondary land, pasture and crop land projected to occur within 50 km buffers surrounding IUCN-designated PAs. Four scenarios of land-use were obtained from the Land-Use Harmonization Project, developed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The scenarios project the continued decline of primary lands within buffers surrounding PAs. Substantial losses are projected to occur across buffer regions in the tropical forest biomes of Indo-Malayan and the Temperate Broadleaf forests of the Nearctic. A number of buffer regions are projected to have negligible primary land remaining by 2100, including those in the Afrotropic's Tropical/Subtropical Grassland/Savanna/Shrubland. From 2010–2050, secondary land is projected to increase within most buffer regions, although, as with pasture and crops within tropical and temperate forests, projections from the four land-use scenarios may diverge substantially in magnitude and direction of change. These scenarios demonstrate a range of alternate futures, and show that although effective mitigation strategies may reduce pressure on land surrounding PAs, these areas will contain an increasingly heterogeneous matrix of primary and human-modified landscapes. Successful management of buffer regions will be imperative to ensure effectiveness of PAs and to facilitate climate-induced shifts in species ranges.