ECOLOGY: Assisted Colonization and Rapid Climate Change

Centre for Marine Studies, Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Reef Studies and the Coral Reef Targeted Research Project, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland (QLD) 4072, Australia.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 07/2008; 321(5887):345-6. DOI: 10.1126/science.1157897
Source: PubMed


Moving species outside their historic ranges may mitigate loss of biodiversity in the face of global climate change.

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Available from: Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Sep 22, 2014
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    • "Translocation of species has seen increasing use as a conservation tool in recent decades (Fischer and Lindenmayer, 2000; Seddon et al., 2014), because it offers a practical way of helping species adapt to spatial changes in suitable habitats (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2008). Substantial success has been reported especially in restoring populations of many bird and mammal species via reintroductions within their present or historical ranges and via reinforcement of existing populations by means of translocation (Armstrong and Seddon, 2008; Ewen et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: 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 translocation, and presents conclusions for conservation planning as to factors contributing to the success. Two apparent key characteristics of the successful translocation were greater abundance of larval resources and less open landscape. The successful site was surrounded by forest, which strongly restricted emigration, crucially supporting the survival of the small initial population. Based on 20 mated females’ translocation in 2000, the local population increased slowly, reaching 600 butterflies in 2011. A large translocation patch together with host-plant abundance enabled successful establishment of the local population. Availability of other suitable grassland patches sufficiently nearby was an additional key characteristic, facilitating the Clouded Apollo’s expansion. However, the expansion rate was low; it took seven years for the butterflies to colonise the five nearest patches, only 10–200 m from the translocation patch. By 2013, they had colonised all suitable semi-natural grassland patches within 2 km from the translocation site and established a seemingly viable metapopulation with 11 subpopulations. The results point to the significance of local habitat area and landscape quality, along with conditions restricting emigration, in determination of suitable translocation sites.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Biological Conservation
    • "A CSP prescription is designed to maintain or increase the ecosystem services of a site, e.g., biodiversity, carbon storage, timber products (Millar et al. 2007, O'Neill et al. 2008a). These objectives are different from the interest to protect or save an endangered species (Barlow and Martin 2004, Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2008, Lunt et al. 2013). Assisted migration proposals for the protection of rare and endangered species are fraught with controversy, including a concern about negative effects if a species becomes invasive (Barlow and Martin 2004, McLachlan et al. 2007, Davidson and Simkanin 2008, Ricciardi and Simberloff 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low-and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-asusual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have management implications for sites where diversity and productivity are expected to decline. Future efforts to restore a specific species or forest type may not be possible, but CSP may sustain a more general ecosystem service (e.g., aboveground biomass).
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Ecological Applications
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    • "To conserve and recover species in such a dynamic and novel future landscape, spatial and temporal baselines will have to be evaluated simultaneously. For example, future recovery of species such as the New Zealand hihi (Notiomystis cincta) and the Tuamotu kingfisher (Todiramphus gambieri) may require proactive assisted colonization to new areas as climate change renders habits permanently unsuitable within their historical range (Walther et al. 2002, Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2008, Kesler et al. 2012, Miller et al. 2012, Chauvenet et al. 2013). Thus, there is a need for a decision-making framework (see below) that explicitly evaluates a suite of site-and speciesspecific spatio-temporal factors in determining when to use or abandon historical baselines in endangered species recovery. "
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    ABSTRACT: Baselines rooted in historical records or concepts of previous conditions are necessarily used to identify and generate recovery goals for endangered species. However, strict adherence to various spatial, temporal, and genetic baselines can limit endangered species recovery actions, success, and the broader conservation of biodiversity. Recent approaches that deviate from historical baselines such as assisted colonization and intentional hybridization have been used to facilitate recovery but lack broad acceptance and an underpinning conceptual framework to guide their use in practice. We here present a novel framework for addressing when baseline-abandoning approaches should be implemented that requires both scientific input and management-defined thresholds. We submit that in cases where species face extreme endangerment and managers have little chance of reducing or ameliorating future threats within a species' historical range, it is better to embrace a more flexible recovery model that includes taking action that deviates from historical baselines. Embracing this reinterpretation of management baselines not only has the potential to advance endangered species recovery but could have important cascading effects on ecosystem-based approaches to conservation. Further, rethinking adherences to baselines can affect our broader social–psychological relationship with wildlife conservation and management. Overall, although historical data on baseline conditions will remain vital to the initial setting of recovery goals, many situations will require more dynamic interpretations of paths to recovering endangered species. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Wildlife Management
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