Tejedor Garavito, N., Newton, A., Golicher, D. and Oldfield, S., 2015. The Relative Impact of Climate Change on the Extinction Risk of Tree Species in the Montane Tropical Andes. PLoS One, 10 (7), e0131388 - .
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There are widespread concerns that anthropogenic climate change will become a major cause of global biodiversity loss. However, the potential impact of climate change on the extinction risk of species remains poorly understood, particularly in comparison to other current threats. The objective of this research was to examine the relative impact of climate change on extinction risk of upper montane tree species in the tropical Andes, an area of high biodiversity value that is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The extinction risk of 129 tree species endemic to the region was evaluated according to the IUCN Red List criteria, both with and without the potential impacts of climate change. Evaluations were supported by development of species distribution models, using three methods (generalized additive models, recursive partitioning, and support vector machines), all of which produced similarly high AUC values when averaged across all species evaluated (0.82, 0.86, and 0.88, respectively). Inclusion of climate change increased the risk of extinction of 18-20% of the tree species evaluated, depending on the climate scenario. The relative impact of climate change was further illustrated by calculating the Red List Index, an indicator that shows changes in the overall extinction risk of sets of species over time. A 15% decline in the Red List Index was obtained when climate change was included in this evaluation. While these results suggest that climate change represents a significant threat to tree species in the tropical Andes, they contradict previous suggestions that climate change will become the most important cause of biodiversity loss in coming decades. Conservation strategies should therefore focus on addressing the multiple threatening processes currently affecting biodiversity, rather than focusing primarily on potential climate change impacts.
|Group:||Faculty of Science & Technology|
|Deposited By:||Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic|
|Deposited On:||28 Jul 2015 09:37|
|Last Modified:||28 Jul 2015 09:37|
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