Risto Heikkinen

Risto Heikkinen
Finnish Environment Institute | ymparisto · Natural Environment Centre

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PhD
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Research items (126)
Chapter
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Climate change is a major threat to biodiversity, causing species to move to new climatically suitable areas, and thus increasing the extinction probability of species inhabiting fragmented landscapes. This highlights the need for climate-wise conservation strategies. With such strategies, a well-connected network of protected areas (PAs) is one of...
Article
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The amount of High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) is a commonly used environmental indicator for assessing the performance of the Common Agricultural Policy, to support sustainable agriculture and monitor changes in agricultural land use in Europe. HNVf comprises agricultural areas of semi-natural state, low-intensity farming and fine-scale landscape...
Article
Snow has far-reaching effects on ecosystem processes and biodiversity in high-latitude ecosystems, but these have been poorly considered in climate change impact models. Here, to forecast future trends in species occurrences and richness, we fitted species–environment models with temperature data from three climate scenarios and simulated up to a 4...
Article
Climate change has the potential to have wholesale impacts on species populations, driving them polewards and upwards, and even affecting populations occurring within protected area (PA) networks. We studied population changes in bird species in the boreal PA network of Finland based on extensive bird census data collected in the years 1981-1999 an...
Article
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Predictive models are central to many scientific disciplines and vital for informing management in a rapidly changing world. However, limited understanding of the accuracy and precision of models transferred to novel conditions (their ‘transferability’) undermines confidence in their predictions. Here, 50 experts identified priority knowledge gaps...
Article
Aim Assessing the threat status of declining but yet widespread species poses a challenge to applied ecologists. Previous studies using a common metric to describe the spatial aggregation of occurrences across multiple scales, the fractal dimension Dij, have suggested that species’ distributional trends may be deduced from readily understandable sp...
Poster
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The influence of past connectivity to surrounding grasslands and local land use history on th present species richness of grassland specialist plants and butterflies in power line clearings.
Article
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Species distribution models built with geographically restricted data often fail to capture the full range of conditions experienced by species across their entire distribution area. Using such models to predict distribution shifts under future environmental change may, therefore, produce biased projections. However, restricted-scale models have th...
Article
Agricultural intensification has caused drastic declines in the area and species richness of semi-natural grasslands across Europe. Novel habitats, such as power line clearings, provide alternative habitats and niches for grassland species, and might therefore mitigate these declines. However, it is not fully understood which environmental factors...
Article
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Determining the drivers, patterns and hotspots of biodiversity can be of critical importance in supporting regional conservation planning. However, as biodiversity hotspots can be described with several different metrics, it is important to investigate their congruence as well as the spatial overlap of hotspots with protected areas. Here, by using...
Article
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Refugia, the sites preserving conditions reminiscent of suitable climates, are projected to be crucial for species in a changing climate, particularly at high latitudes. However, the knowledge of current locations of high-latitude refugia and particularly their ability to retain suitable conditions under future climatic changes is limited. Occurren...
Article
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Aim Nitrogen deposition is a major global driver of change in plant communities, but its impacts on higher trophic levels are insufficiently understood. Here, we introduce and test a novel conceptual trait-based model describing how the effects of soil eutrophication cascade to higher trophic levels across differential plant–herbivore interactions....
Article
Weather conditions fundamentally affect the activity of short-lived insects. Annual variation inweather is therefore likely to be an important determinant of their between-year variation in dispersal, but conclusive empirical studies are lacking. We studied whether the annual variation of dispersal can be explained by the flight season’s weather co...
Article
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Aim: Biotic interactions have a central role in defining species assemblages, realized both through negative and positive impacts. However, forecasts of how these interactions affect biodiversity across landscapes are challenging (and lacking) because the outcome of interactions depends not only on the identity of the interacting species but also o...
Article
Projected climatic warming calls for increased attention to the identification of suitable refugia for the preservation of biota and ecosystems in changing high-latitude environments. One such way is the development of models for drivers of refugia. Here, we investigate the distribution and species richness of Arctic-alpine vascular plant species’...
Article
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Assisted migration (AM) has been suggested as a management strategy for aiding species in reaching newly suitable locations as climate changes. Species distribution models (SDMs) can provide important insights for decisions on whether to assist a species in its migration; however, their application includes uncertainties. In this study, we use cons...
Article
Translocations have been advocated as a conservation tool helping species adapt to climate and land-use change, but well-documented examples of invertebrates’ translocations are rare. The paper describes a successful translocation of the threatened Clouded Apollo butterfly (Parnassius mnemosyne) in Finland, compares this to a specific failed transl...
Article
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Biotic interactions may strongly affect the distribution of individual species and the resulting patterns of species richness. However, the impacts can vary depending on the species or taxa examined, suggesting that the influences of interactions on species distributions and diversity are not always straightforward and can be taxon-contingent. The...
Article
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Dynamic models for range expansion provide a promising tool for assessing species' capacity to respond to climate change by shifting their ranges to new areas. However, these models include a number of uncertainties which may affect how successfully they can be applied to climate change oriented conservation planning. We used RangeShifter, a novel...
Article
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This paper examines the potential impact of climate change on grassland butterfly species in Finland. It combines multiple climate change scenarios and different impact models for bioclimatic suitability to capture multi-faceted aspects of uncertainty. It also evaluates alternative options to enhance the adaptation of grassland biodiversity. Due to...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is a major threat to biodiversity, posing increasing pressures on species to adapt in situ or shift their ranges. A protected area network is one of the main instruments to alleviate the negative impacts of climate change. Importantly, protected area networks might be expected to enhance the resilience of regional populations...
Data
Detailed presentation of CORINE land cover and distribution of protected areas.
Data
Studied species of conservation concern in different classifications.
Data
Full-text available
Protected area network in Finland.
Chapter
Agricultural intensification is a major driver of biodiversity decline throughout Europe. Agri-environment schemes governed by EU regulation are a significant tool in combating this decline but despite high spending, experiences of their effectiveness have been mixed. Their effectiveness might be improved by targeting them to locations with high bi...
Article
Climatically-driven earth surface processes (ESPs) govern landscape and ecosystem dynamics in high–latitude regions. However, climate change is expected to alter ESPs activity at yet uncertain rate and amplitude. We examined the sensitivity of key ESPs (cryoturbation, solifluction, nivation and palsa mires) to changing climate by modeling their dis...
Article
Rapid environmental changes are threatening biodiversity and exposing species to novel ecological and evolutionary pressures. The scientific community increasingly recognises the need for dynamic models integrating sufficient complexity both to improve our understanding of species’ responses to environmental changes and to inform effective manageme...
Article
Species inhabiting high-latitude environments are anticipated to be exceptionally vulnerable to climate change because of the greater temperature increases projected for these regions. Earlier studies based on bioclimatic envelope models and bird atlas data from 1974 to 1989 have suggested that northern-boreal bird species may face considerable ran...
Article
AimTo quantify whether species distribution models (SDMs) can reliably forecast species distributions under observed climate change. In particular, to test whether the predictive ability of SDMs depends on species traits or the inclusion of land cover and soil type, and whether distributional changes at expanding range margins can be predicted accu...
Article
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Remote sensing (RS) data may play an important role in the development of cost-effective means for modelling, mapping, planning and conserving biodiversity. Specifically, at the landscape scale, spatial models for the occurrences of species of conservation concern may be improved by the inclusion of RS-based predictors, to help managers to better m...
Article
Full-text available
Species ranges are expected to move polewards following the changing climate, which poses novel challenges to the protected area network, particularly at northern latitudes. Here we study how well protected areas are likely to sustain populations of birds of conservation concern under a changing climate in northern Europe, in Finland. We fitted bio...
Article
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Amphibian declines have been reported worldwide during the last decades. In this study, we focused on the endangered great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), which has suffered from intensive forestry and past mire ditching in the northern verge of its distribution. We collected data from 46 breeding ponds in eastern Finland during 2005-2011 using...
Article
Full-text available
National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, an...
Data
Studied species of conservation concern in different classifications. Studied species of conservation concern in different classifications. DIR = EU Birds Directive species (Annex I), SPEC = species of European conservation concern (unfavourable conservation status: SPEC1–SPEC3), IBA = species of Arctic or boreal biome, EU = threatened species in E...
Data
Correlation (Spearman rank, rS) between the amount of protected habitat and the species-specific habitat suitability index in the given square. Correlation (Spearman rank, rS) between the amount of protected habitat and the species-specific habitat suitability index in the given square. The species-specific habitat suitability index is the probabil...
Article
Agricultural intensification is a major driver of biodiversity decline throughout Europe. Agri-environment schemes governed by EU regulation are a significant tool in combating this decline but despite high spending, experiences of their effectiveness have been mixed. Their effectiveness might be improved by targeting them to locations with high bi...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting which species will occur together in the future, and where, remains one of the greatest challenges in ecology, and requires a sound understanding of how the abiotic and biotic environments interact with dispersal processes and history across scales. Biotic interactions and their dynamics influence species' relationships to climate, and t...
Article
Full-text available
Measures of geodiversity may provide a potentially useful surrogate for biodiversity patterns in insufficiently surveyed areas. However, their reliability in modelling the spatial variation in species richness is inadequately understood. We investigated whether the explanatory and predictive power of species richness models can be improved by consi...
Article
Full-text available
1. Dynamic simulation models are a promising tool for assessing how species respond to habitat fragmentation and climate change. However, sensitivity of their outputs to impacts of spatial resolution is insufficiently known. 2. Using an individual-based dynamic model for species’ range expansion, we demonstrate an inherent risk of substantial biase...
Article
Ecological theory suggests that positive plant—plant interactions can extend species distributions into areas that would otherwise be unfavourable. However, few studies have tested this hypothesis, and none have explicitly examined the associated prediction that inter-specific interactions between plants may broaden species altitudinal distribution...
Article
Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal in determining dynamics of species communities in fragmented...
Article
Aim We investigate the importance of interacting species for current and potential future species distributions, the influence of their ecological characteristics on projected range shifts when considering or ignoring interacting species, and the consistency of observed relationships across different global change scenarios. Location Europe. Method...
Article
A number of studies show contrasting results in how plant species with specific life-history strategies respond to fragmentation, but a general analysis on whether traits affect plant species occurrences in relation to habitat area and isolation has not been performed. We used published data from forests and grasslands in north-central Europe to an...
Article
Model transferability (extrapolative accuracy) is one important feature in species distribution models, required in several ecological and conservation biological applications. This study use