Extinction debt from climate change for frogs in the wet tropics

Fordham, Damien A., Brook, Barry W., Hoskin, Conrad J., Pressey, Robert L., VanDerWal, Jeremy, and Williams, Stephen E. (2016) Extinction debt from climate change for frogs in the wet tropics. Biology Letters, 12. pp. 1-5.

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Abstract

The effect of twenty-first-century climate change on biodiversity is commonly forecast based on modelled shifts in species ranges, linked to habitat suitability. These projections have been coupled with species-area relationships (SAR) to infer extinction rates indirectly as a result of the loss of climatically suitable areas and associated habitat. This approach does not model population dynamics explicitly, and so accepts that extinctions might occur after substantial (but unknown) delays-an extinction debt. Here we explicitly couple bioclimatic envelopemodels of climate and habitat suitability with generic life-history models for 24 species of frogs found in the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT). We show that (i) as many as four species of frogs face imminent extinction by 2080, due primarily to climate change; (ii) three frogs face delayed extinctions; and (iii) this extinction debt will take at least a century to be realized in full. Furthermore, we find congruence between forecast rates of extinction using SARs, and demographic models with an extinction lag of 120 years. We conclude that SAR approaches can provide useful advice to conservation on climate change impacts, provided there is a good understanding of the time lags over which delayed extinctions are likely to occur.

Item ID: 47104
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: conservation prioritization, extinction risk, metapopulation, species-area relationship, species distribution model
ISSN: 1744-957X
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship FT140101192, ARC Discovery Grant DP1096427
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 07:42
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960303 Climate Change Models @ 100%
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