Article

Impacts of climate change on Swiss biodiversity: An indicator taxa approach

Biological Conservation 01/2011; 144:866-875. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.11.020

ABSTRACT We present a new indicator taxa approach to the prediction of climate change effects on biodiversity at the national level in Switzerland. As indicators, we select a set of the most widely distributed species that account for 95% of geographical variation in sampled species richness of birds, butterflies, and vascular plants. Species data come from a national program designed to monitor spatial and temporal trends in species richness. We examine some opportunities and limitations in using these data. We develop ecological niche models for the species as functions of both climate and land cover variables. We project these models to the future using climate predictions that correspond to two IPCC 3rd assessment scenarios for the development of ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions. We find that models that are calibrated with Swiss national monitoring data perform well in 10-fold cross-validation, but can fail to capture the hot-dry end of environmental gradients that constrain some species distributions. Models for indicator species in all three higher taxa predict that climate change will result in turnover in species composition even where there is little net change in predicted species richness. Indicator species from high elevations lose most areas of suitable climate even under the relatively mild B2 scenario. We project some areas to increase in the number of species for which climate conditions are suitable early in the current century, but these areas become less suitable for a majority of species by the end of the century. Selection of indicator species based on rank prevalence results in a set of models that predict observed species richness better than a similar set of species selected based on high rank of model AUC values. An indicator species approach based on selected species that are relatively common may facilitate the use of national monitoring data for predicting climate change effects on the distribution of biodiversity.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
106 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To quantitatively assess future change of evergreen broad-leaved tree species’ distributions in human-disturbed landscapes of the Korean Peninsula under climate change, potential habitats (PHs) were projected for four important evergreen broad-leaved tree species (Quercus acuta, Castanopsis sieboldii, Machilus thunbergii, and Neolitsea sericea) by species distribution models (SDMs). The distribution data (presence/absence) of the target species in Korea and Japan were used as response variables for SDMs, and climatic data were used as explanatory variables. Three general circulation models under A2 emission scenarios were used as future climate scenarios for the years 2070–2099. Potential habitats masked by land-use data (PHLUs) were projected to assess the impact of anthropogenic activities. Highly accurate SDMs were obtained for all the target species. The current PHs were decreased to 21–35 % by the anthropogenic activities. Future PHLUs for all the target species were projected to increase by 2.0–18.5 times of current PHLUs. These results suggest that all the target species are applicable as indicator species for monitoring in the Korean Peninsula, even if anthropogenic effects are incorporated. Variation of the increasing rate was caused by the differences in the response to temperature changes. M. thunbergii responded sensitively to the increase of minimum temperature of coldest month and had a largest increase in PHLUs under future climate. Therefore, M. thunbergii is considered to be most appropriate species for monitoring the changes of horizontal distributions above all focal evergreen broad-leaved tree species.
    Journal of Forest Research 04/2013; · 0.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although climate is known to play an important role in structuring biological communities, high-resolution analyses of recent climatic impacts on multiple components of diversity are still sparse. Additionally, there is a lack of knowledge about which species drive community response to environmental change. We used a long-term breeding bird data set that encompasses a large latitudinal and altitudinal range to model the effect of temperature on spatial and temporal patterns in alpha and beta diversity. We also established a novel framework for identifying species-specific contributions to these macroecological patterns, hence combining two different approaches for identifying climatic impacts. Alpha diversity increased over time, whilst beta diversity declined; both diversity metrics showed a significant relationship with recent temperature anomalies. By partitioning beta diversity, we showed that the decline was predominately driven by changes in species turnover rather than nestedness suggesting a process of replacement by more common species. Using jackknife analyses we identified how individual species influenced the modelled relationships of diversity with temperature and time. Influential species tended to be habitat generalists with moderate to large distributions. We demonstrate that different facets of avian diversity can respond rapidly to temperature anomalies and as a result have undergone significant changes in the last decade. In general, it appears that warming temperatures are driving compositional homogenization of temperate bird communities via range expansion of common generalist species.
    Journal of Animal Ecology 02/2013; · 4.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Coastal dunes worldwide harbor threatened habitats characterized by high diversity in terms of plant communities. In Italy, recent assessments have highlighted the insufficient state of conservation of these habitats as defined by the EU Habitats Directive. The effects of predicted climate change could have dramatic consequences for coastal environments in the near future. An assessment of the efficacy of protection measures under climate change is thus a priority. Here, we have developed environmental envelope models for the most widespread dune habitats in Italy, following two complementary approaches: an "indirect" plant-species-based one and a simple "direct" one. We analyzed how habitats distribution will be altered under the effects of two climate change scenarios and evaluated if the current Italian network of protected areas will be effective in the future after distribution shifts. While modeling dune habitats with the "direct" approach was unsatisfactory, "indirect" models had a good predictive performance, highlighting the importance of using species' responses to climate change for modeling these habitats. The results showed that habitats closer to the sea may even increase their geographical distribution in the near future. The transition dune habitat is projected to remain stable, although mobile and fixed dune habitats are projected to lose most of their actual geographical distribution, the latter being more sensitive to climate change effects. Gap analysis highlighted that the habitats' distribution is currently adequately covered by protected areas, achieving the conservation target. However, according to predictions, protection level for mobile and fixed dune habitats is predicted to drop drastically under the climate change scenarios which we examined. Our results provide useful insights for setting management priorities and better addressing conservation efforts to preserve these threatened habitats in future.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0068850. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
91 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014