Effects of climate change on life history: implications for extinction risk in mammals

Isaac, Joanne L. (2009) Effects of climate change on life history: implications for extinction risk in mammals. Endangered Species Research, 7 (2). pp. 115-123.

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Global climate change is predicted to result in the decline and/or extinction of a large number of animal populations worldwide, and the risk of extinction is likely to be greatest for those species already vulnerable—i.e. those with limited climatic range and/or restricted habitat requirements. To date, predictive models have failed to take into account the fact that climate change will alter many of the key life history and ecological parameters which determine a species’ inherent risk of extinction, such as body mass, size of geographic range and a suite of reproductive traits. Herein, I review contemporary research on the effects of climate change on extinction risk in mammals, focusing on the capacity of climate change to modify those life history traits that inherently alter species’ extinction risk. This review finds strong evidence that climate change has already had marked effects on key life history traits in many mammals. These changes have resulted in both negative and positive effects on reproductive success and adult and offspring survival, with implications for extinction risk in affected species. While the capacity of climate change to alter life history traits in mammals is clear, there is currently little research to clarify how these changes have influenced population growth and dynamics. Other currently overlooked areas of research are also identified.

Item ID: 4806
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1613-4796
Keywords: global warming; environmental variation; reproductive success; geographic range; tropical biology
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009 23:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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