Targeted protection and restoration to conserve tropical biodiversity in a warming world

Shoo, Luke P., Storlie, Collin, VanDerWal, Jeremy, Little, Jeremy, and Williams, Stephen E. (2011) Targeted protection and restoration to conserve tropical biodiversity in a warming world. Global Change Biology, 17 (1). pp. 186-193.

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Abstract

Complex landscapes interact with meteorological processes to generate climatically suitable habitat (refuges) in otherwise hostile environments. Locating these refuges has practical importance in tropical montane regions where a high diversity of climatically specialized species is threatened by climate change. Here, we use a combination of weather data and spatial modeling to quantify thermally buffered environments in a regional tropical rainforest. We do this by constructing a spatial surface of maximum air temperature that takes into account important climate-mediating processes. We find a strong attenuating effect of elevation, distance from coast and foliage cover on maximum temperature. The core habitat of a disproportionately high number of endemic species (45%) is encompassed within just 25% of the coolest identified rainforest. We demonstrate how this data can be used to (i) identify important areas of cool habitat for protection and (ii) efficiently guide restoration in degraded landscapes to expand extant networks of critical cool habitat.

Item ID: 16280
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptation management, climate change, heat stress, montane biodiversity, refugia, temperature buffering
ISSN: 1365-2486
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2011 01:49
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 30%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 21
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