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Impacts of past habitat loss and future climate change on the range dynamics of South African Proteaceae

  • Aim To assess how habitat loss and climate change interact in affecting the range dynamics of species and to quantify how predicted range dynamics depend on demographic properties of species and the severity of environmental change. Location South African Cape Floristic Region. Methods We use data-driven demographic models to assess the impacts of past habitat loss and future climate change on range size, range filing and abundances of eight species of woody plants (Proteaceae). The species-specific models employ a hybrid approach that simulates population dynamics and long-distance dispersal on top of expected spatio-temporal dynamics of suitable habitat. Results Climate change was mainly predicted to reduce range size and range filling (because of a combination of strong habitat shifts with low migration ability). In contrast, habitat loss mostly decreased mean local abundance. For most species and response measures, the combination of habitat loss and climate change had the most severe effect. Yet, this combined effect was mostlyAim To assess how habitat loss and climate change interact in affecting the range dynamics of species and to quantify how predicted range dynamics depend on demographic properties of species and the severity of environmental change. Location South African Cape Floristic Region. Methods We use data-driven demographic models to assess the impacts of past habitat loss and future climate change on range size, range filing and abundances of eight species of woody plants (Proteaceae). The species-specific models employ a hybrid approach that simulates population dynamics and long-distance dispersal on top of expected spatio-temporal dynamics of suitable habitat. Results Climate change was mainly predicted to reduce range size and range filling (because of a combination of strong habitat shifts with low migration ability). In contrast, habitat loss mostly decreased mean local abundance. For most species and response measures, the combination of habitat loss and climate change had the most severe effect. Yet, this combined effect was mostly smaller than expected from adding or multiplying effects of the individual environmental drivers. This seems to be because climate change shifts suitable habitats to regions less affected by habitat loss. Interspecific variation in range size responses depended mostly on the severity of environmental change, whereas responses in range filling and local abundance depended mostly on demographic properties of species. While most surviving populations concentrated in areas that remain climatically suitable, refugia for multiple species were overestimated by simply overlying habitat models and ignoring demography. Main conclusions Demographic models of range dynamics can simultaneously predict the response of range size, abundance and range filling to multiple drivers of environmental change. Demographic knowledge is particularly needed to predict abundance responses and to identify areas that can serve as biodiversity refugia under climate change. These findings highlight the need for data-driven, demographic assessments in conservation biogeography.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Juliano Sarmento SarmentoORCiD, Florian JeltschORCiDGND, Wilfried Thuiller, Steven Higgins, Guy F. Midgley, Anthony G. Rebelo, Mathieu Rouget, Frank M. Schurr
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12011
ISSN:1366-9516 (print)
Parent Title (English):Diversity & distributions : a journal of biological invasions and biodiversity
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:CFR Proteaceae; biodiversity refugia; climate change; demographic properties; habitat loss; local abundances; process-based range models; range filling; range size; species distribution models
Volume:19
Issue:4
Pagenumber:14
First Page:363
Last Page:376
Funder:German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through Biota Southern Africa [FKZ: 54419938]; Potsdam Graduate School (PoGS); University of Potsdam Graduate Initiative in Ecological Modelling (UPGradE); European Union through Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Project FEMMES [MTKD-CT-2006-042261]; German Research Foundation [SCHU 2259/3-1]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert