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Adapting landscapes to climate change: examples of climate-proof ecosystem networks and priority adaptation zones
Article first published online: 21 OCT 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 45, Issue 6, pages 1722–1731, December 2008
How to Cite
Vos, C. C., Berry, P., Opdam, P., Baveco, H., Nijhof, B., O’Hanley, J., Bell, C. and Kuipers, H. (2008), Adapting landscapes to climate change: examples of climate-proof ecosystem networks and priority adaptation zones. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45: 1722–1731. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01569.x
- Issue published online: 21 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 21 OCT 2008
- Received 14 April 2008; accepted 5 September 2008; Handling Editor: Des Thompson
- adaptation strategies;
- bioclimate envelope modelling;
- biodiversity conservation;
- climate change;
- climate corridor;
- climate-proof networks;
- ecosystem networks;
- dispersal modelling;
- Natura 2000
- 1Climate change has been inducing range shifts for many species as they follow their suitable climate space and further shifts are projected. Whether species will be able to colonize regions where climate conditions become suitable, so-called ‘new climate space’, depends on species traits and habitat fragmentation.
- 2By combining bioclimate envelope models with dispersal models, we identified areas where the spatial cohesion of the ecosystem pattern is expected to be insufficient to allow colonization of new climate space.
- 3For each of three ecosystem types, three species were selected that showed a shift in suitable climate space and differed in habitat fragmentation sensitivity.
- 4For the 2020 and 2050 time slices, the amount of climatically suitable habitat in northwest Europe diminished for all studied species. Additionally, significant portions of new suitable habitat could not be colonized because of isolation. Together, this will result in a decline in the amount of suitable habitat protected in Natura 2000 sites.
- 5We develop several adaptation strategies to combat this problem: (i) link isolated habitat that is within a new suitable climate zone to the nearest climate-proof network; (ii) increase colonizing capacity in the overlap zone, the part of a network that remains suitable in successive time frames; (iii) optimize sustainable networks in climate refugia, the part of a species’ range where the climate remains stable.
- 6Synthesis and applications. Following the method described in this study, we can identify those sites across Europe where ecosystem patterns are not cohesive enough to accommodate species’ responses to climate change. The best locations for climate corridors where improving connectivity is most urgent and potential gain is highest can then be pinpointed.