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Keywords:

  • adaptation;
  • cranefly;
  • European Golden Plover;
  • peatland;
  • Pluvialis apricaria;
  • predation;
  • temperature;
  • Tipulidae

There is considerable interest in understanding how management may help species and populations cope with climate change (climate change adaptation). I used a population model describing the demography of a southern range-margin European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria population vulnerable to climate change to assess the potential benefits associated with site-based adaptation management. Two forms of management were simulated: (1) counteracting management to reduce the severity of the negative climate change impacts, simulated by increasing tipulid (cranefly) abundance, and (2) compensatory management to increase populations through an alternative mechanism, simulated by manipulating nest and chick predation rates. A 1 °C rise was estimated to require a doubling of cranefly abundance, or a 35% increase in nest and chick survival rates, to maintain a stable population. For a 2 °C rise, a four-fold increase in craneflies or an 80% increase in survival rates would be required for population stability. A model based on likely realistic estimates of the magnitude of benefit associated with both adaptation management options showed that combined, they may significantly reduce the severity of population decline and risk of extinction associated with a relatively large increase in temperature of 5.8 °C above 1960–90 levels. Site-based adaptation management may therefore increase the resistance of Golden Plovers to some degree of future climate change. This model framework for informing climate change adaptation decisions should be developed for other species and habitats.