Advertisement

Would climate change drive species out of reserves? An assessment of existing reserve-selection methods

Authors

  • Miguel B. Araújo,

    1. School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, A Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3SZ, UK,
    2. Biogeography and Conservation Laboratory, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD London, UK,
    3. Macroecology and Conservation Unit, University of Évora, Estrada dos Leões, 7000-730 Évora, Portugal,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mar Cabeza,

    1. Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, PO Box 65, Viikinkaari 1, Helsinki, Finland,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Wilfried Thuiller,

    1. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France,
    2. Kirstenbosch Research Center, National Botanical Institute, P/Bag X7 Claremont 7735; Cape Town, South Africa,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lee Hannah,

    1. Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, 1919 M Street, NW Suit 600, DC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paul H. Williams

    1. Biogeography and Conservation Laboratory, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD London, UK,
    Search for more papers by this author

Miguel B. Araújo, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK, tel. +44 (0)1865 271947, fax +44 (0)1865 271929, e-mail: mba@uevora.pt

Abstract

Concern for climate change has not yet been integrated in protocols for reserve selection. However if climate changes as projected, there is a possibility that current reserve-selection methods might provide solutions that are inadequate to ensure species' long-term persistence within reserves. We assessed, for the first time, the ability of existing reserve-selection methods to secure species in a climate-change context. Six methods using a different combination of criteria (representation, suitability and reserve clustering) are compared. The assessment is carried out using European distributions of 1200 plant species and considering two extreme scenarios of response to climate change: no dispersal and universal dispersal. With our data, 6–11% of species modelled would be potentially lost from selected reserves in a 50-year period. Measured uncertainties varied in 6% being 1–3% attributed to dispersal assumptions and 2–5% to the choice of reserve-selection method. Suitability approaches to reserve selection performed best, while reserve clustering performed poorly. We also found that 5% of species modelled would lose their entire climatic envelope in the studied area; 2% of the species modelled would have nonoverlapping distributions; 93% of the species modelled would maintain varying levels of overlapping distributions. We conclude there are opportunities to minimize species' extinctions within reserves but new approaches are needed to account for impacts of climate change on species; especially for those projected to have temporally nonoverlapping distributions.

Ancillary