Julian R - Evaluating the Impact of Climate Change on Global Plant Biodiversity

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Assessing impacts of climate change on global plant diversity using the GBIF database, for conservation planning objectives.

Text of Julian R - Evaluating the Impact of Climate Change on Global Plant Biodiversity

  • 1. Towards the Wallace Initiative: Evaluating the impact of climate change on global plant biodiversity Julin Ramrez and Andy Jarvis International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT Bioversity International

2. The Wallace Initiative framework:

  • Assessment of impacts of climate change on species distributions to:
    • Determine refugia
    • Improve knowledge of risks of exceeding certain levels of change by means of determining extinction rates
  • Map potential corridors for species
  • Potential refugia, carbon dist., and design of REDD mechanisms
  • Driving of protected area design in the 21 stcentury
  • Provide critical conclusions to aid the development of adaptation plans


  • Impact of climate change on species distributions Data: GBIF inputs
  • Very preliminary approach using 33,004 taxa
    • Using the entire GBIF database
    • Selecting species with at least 10 unique data points
    • 67,039 species (15,215,524 occurrences)
    • Correcting georreferences
      • Is the record in land or sea?
      • Is in the country/department/locality it says it is?
      • Is within the environmental niche of the species?
    • 65,991 selected species (14,157,497 occurrences)
    • Run for 33,004 (time matters)
    • Further taxonomical/geographic corrections to be implemnetd

Source: Conservation International 4. The data: current and future climates

  • Current climates from WorldClim
    • 19 bioclimatic indices at 10 arc-minutes
  • Future climates from downscaled GCM outputs
    • 18 models at 10 arc-minutes spatial resolution
    • For 2050s
    • Under the A2a emission scenario
    • 19 bioclimatic variables as for WorldClim
    • Control run with the average climate of all GCMs

5. The approach

  • Maximum entropy as a very accurate algorithm for niche modeling
  • 10 or more points for each of the 33,004 taxa
  • Only one future projection (control future scenario)
  • Current: two extreme migration scenarios
    • Unlimited migration
    • Null migration
  • Measures of diversity and area loss
    • Per AVOID region and globally
      • Within Protected Areas
      • Overall
  • Current extent of conserved biodiversity within protected areas ( in situgap analysis)

6. Results: distribution of protected areas

  • Covering 13.8% of the total global surface (3.8% international, 10% national)
  • Holding a great amount of biodiversity

7. Results: protected areas per AVOID region Proportion of nationally and internationally protected area Current extent ofin situconservation Some issues in highly diverse areas Global biodiversity currently well conserved 8. Modeling approach

  • Aplying the maximum entropy algorithm
    • Macoubea guianensisAubl.: food for rural indigenous communities in the Amazon

Data harvesting from GBIF Building the presence model Projecting on future climates NULL MIGRATION UNLIMITED MIGRATION Potentialhabitat expansion NULL MIGRATION UNLIMITED MIGRATION 9. 10. Results: Current and future predicted species richness

  • Important hotspots in Latin America, Europe, Australasia and Central Africa
  • Displacement and loss of niches

CURRENT NULL MIGRATION UNLIMITED MIGRATION 11. Results: changes in species richness

  • Null migration: losses everywhere
  • Unlimited migration: mostly displacement

12. Results: changes in species richness

  • Null migration: losses everywhere
  • Unlimited migration: mostly displacement

UNLIMITED MIGRATION NULL MIGRATION 13. Planning conservation strategies Where to adapt? Where to restore? 14. Planning conservation strategies Where to prioritize? 15. Como manejar la biodiversidad hacia el futuro?

  • Conservacion es materia de numero total de especies y numero de especies unicas
  • Areas indigenas actuan como barreras a deforestacion, facilmente observable via GIS
  • Amenazas antropogenicas dificultan la conservacion
  • Cambio climatico amenazara biodiversidad, pero hay areas especificas que se mantendran climaticamente estables
  • Conservacion debe enfocarse en estas areas climaticamente estables y con amenazas medias a bajas
  • Restauracion debe enfocarse en paisajes fragmentados con media-alta vulnerabilidad climatica
  • Seguridad alimentaria y migracion de tierras agricolas debe tenerse en cuenta para adaptar biodiversidad

16. Results: changes within AVOID regions

  • Changes in species richness under both migration scenarios

17. Results:in situconservation under the context of CC

  • No matter if the best adaptation scenario (unlimited dispersal) is chosen, negatives are expected in most regions
  • There are regions with gains in species richness, but fairly due to displacement of niches

18. Results:in situconservation under the context of CC

  • Expected changes within protected areas (PAs) sometimes occur at a greater extent
  • Current gaps inin situconservation to be larger in changing climates
  • Current protected areas to be strengthened, expanded, or re-located if necessary

NULL MIGRATION UNLIMITED MIGRATION 19. Results:in situconservation under the context of CC

  • Loss in extent ofin situconservation
  • Loss of suitable habitats for several species
  • Opposite cases?
  • Mixed conditions?

NULL MIGRATION UNLIMITED MIGRATION (+)RPT (-)DIV (-)RPT (-)DIV (+)RPT (-)DIV (+)RPT (+)DIV (+)RPT (-)DIV (-)RPT (+)DIV 20. Refugia identification

  • Migration patterns
    • Population plasticity
    • Population migration rate
  • Cellular automaton
  • Select similar migration patterns

21. Refugia identification

  • Intensification of deforestation processes: where and when to locate a reserve?

Intense habitat degradation period Detections to 2009 but can be extrapolated to 2100 Date Number of Pixels with LUC Test area in Bolivia 22. Conclusions

  • In situconservation needs to be oriented under the context of climate change
    • Areas to be strengthened (more control)
    • Areas to be expanded
    • Areas to be re-located (if migration does occur)
  • Measuring impacts within each PA is required
  • Conservation must be focused on priority protected areas
    • Amount of diversity
    • Predicted loss in suitable habitats
    • Number of species likely to be extinct and most important WHEN?

23. Next steps scientific rigor

  • A far more detailed approach is required including
    • Individual GCM results
    • Other emission and policy scenarios
    • All GBIF species with more taxonomic and georreferencing corrections
    • Other time slices: 2020s, 2030s, 2040s
    • Validation metrics of Maxent models
    • Intermediate migration scenarios
    • Measure the number of extinct species for each region

24. Next steps analysis of policy implications

  • Similarities/dissimilarities between regions
    • Do current criteria for PA selection stand up to climate change?
    • What makes one protected area system more effective than another in combating climate change? [Australasia vs. South America]
    • What needs to change?
  • What levels of biodiversity loss should be we preparing for? Which would be acceptable?