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Potential relocation of climatic environments suggests high rates of climate displacement within the North American protection network

Posted date: March 22, 2017
Publication Year: 
2017
Authors: Batllori, Enric; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Moritz, Max A.; Miller, Carol L.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Global Change Biology. 2017: 1-12.

Abstract

Ongoing climate change may undermine the effectiveness of protected area networks in preserving the set of biotic components and ecological processes they harbor, thereby jeopardizing their conservation capacity into the future. Metrics of climate change, particularly rates and spatial patterns of climatic alteration, can help assess potential threats. Here, we perform a continent-wide climate change vulnerability assessment whereby we compare the baseline climate of the protected area network in North America (Canada, United States, Mexico - NAM) to the projected end-of-century climate (2071-2100). We estimated the projected pace at which climatic conditions may redistribute across NAM (i.e., climate velocity), and identified future nearest climate analogs to quantify patterns of climate relocation within, among, and outside protected areas. Also, we interpret climatic relocation patterns in terms of associated land-cover types. Our analysis suggests that the conservation capacity of the NAM protection network is likely to be severely compromised by a changing climate. The majority of protected areas (~80%) might be exposed to high rates of climate displacement that could promote important shifts in species abundance or distribution. A small fraction of protected areas (

Citation

Batllori, Enric; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Moritz, Max A.; Miller, Carol. 2017. Potential relocation of climatic environments suggests high rates of climate displacement within the North American protection network. Global Change Biology. 2017: 1-12.