Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations

Iwamura, Takuya, Possingham, Hugh P., Chadès, Iadine, Minton, Clive, Murray, Nicholas J., Rogers, Danny I., Treml, Eric A., and Fuller, Richard A. (2013) Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations. Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 230 (1761). 20130325.

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Sea-level rise (SLR) will greatly alter littoral ecosystems, causing habitat change and loss for coastal species. Habitat loss is widely used as a measurement of the risk of extinction, but because many coastal species are migratory, the impact of habitat loss will depend not only on its extent, but also on where it occurs. Here, we develop a novel graph-theoretic approach to measure the vulnerability of a migratory network to the impact of habitat loss from SLR based on population flow through the network. We show that reductions in population flow far exceed the proportion of habitat lost for 10 long-distance migrant shorebirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We estimate that SLR will inundate 23-40% of intertidal habitat area along their migration routes, but cause a reduction in population flow of up to 72 per cent across the taxa. This magnifying effect was particularly strong for taxa whose migration routes contain bottlenecks-sites through which a large fraction of the population travels. We develop the bottleneck index, a new network metric that positively correlates with the predicted impacts of habitat loss on overall population flow. Our results indicate that migratory species are at greater risk than previously realized.

Item ID: 60305
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1349-3329
Keywords: East Asian-Australasian Flyway, Ecological networks, Graph theory, Maximum flow, Migratory shorebirds, Sea-level rise
Copyright Information: © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Queensland Wader Study Group, Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Port of Brisbane Corporation
Projects and Grants: ARC LP100200418
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 23:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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