Potential decoupling of trends in distribution area and population size of species with climate change

Shoo, Luke P., Williams, Stephen E., and Hero, Jean-Marc (2005) Potential decoupling of trends in distribution area and population size of species with climate change. Global Change Biology, 11 (9). pp. 1469-1476.

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Global climates are changing rapidly and biological responses are becoming increasingly apparent. Here, we use empirical abundance patterns across an altitudinal gradient and predicted altitudinal range shifts to estimate change in total population size relative to distribution area in response to climate warming. Adopting this approach we predict that, for nine out of 12 species of regionally endemic birds, total population size will decline more rapidly than distribution area with increasing temperature. Two species showed comparable loss and one species exhibited a slower decline in population size with change in distribution area. Population size change relative to distribution area was greatest for those species that occurred at highest density in the middle of the gradient. The disproportional loss in population size reported here suggests that extinction risk associated with climate change can be more severe than that expected from decline in distribution area alone. Therefore, if we are to make accurate predictions of the impacts of climate change on the conservation status of individual species, it is crucial that we consider the spatial patterns of abundance within the distribution and not just the overall range of the species.

Item ID: 1654
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: altitudinal gradient, climate change, population decline, rainforest birds, range shift
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2007
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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