Projected impacts of climate change on the range and phenology of three culturally-important shrub species.
ABSTRACT: Climate change is shifting both the habitat suitability and the timing of critical biological events, such as flowering and fruiting, for plant species across the globe. Here, we ask how both the distribution and phenology of three food-producing shrubs native to northwestern North America might shift as the climate changes. To address this question, we compared gridded climate data with species location data to identify climate variables that best predicted the current bioclimatic niches of beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), and salal (Gaultheria shallon). We also developed thermal-sum models for the timing of flowering and fruit ripening for these species. We then used multi-model ensemble future climate projections to estimate how species range and phenology may change under future conditions. Modelling efforts showed extreme minimum temperature, climate moisture deficit, and mean summer precipitation were predictive of climatic suitability across all three species. Future bioclimatic niche models project substantial reductions in habitat suitability across the lower elevation and southern portions of the species' current ranges by the end of the 21st century. Thermal-sum phenology models for these species indicate that flowering and the ripening of fruits and nuts will advance an average of 25 days by the mid-21st century, and 36 days by the late-21st century under a high emissions scenario (RCP 8.5). Future changes in the climatic niche and phenology of these important food-producing species may alter trophic relationships, with cascading impacts on regional ecosystems.
Project description:Africa is predicted to be highly vulnerable to 21st century climatic changes. Assessing the impacts of these changes on Africa's biodiversity is, however, plagued by uncertainties, and markedly different results can be obtained from alternative bioclimatic envelope models or future climate projections. Using an ensemble forecasting framework, we examine projections of future shifts in climatic suitability, and their methodological uncertainties, for over 2500 species of mammals, birds, amphibians and snakes in sub-Saharan Africa. To summarize the variability in the ensemble of 17 general circulation models, we introduce a consensus methodology that combines co-varying models. Thus, we quantify and map the relative contribution to uncertainty of seven bioclimatic envelope models, three multi-model climate projections and three emissions scenarios, and explore the resulting variability in species turnover estimates. We show that bioclimatic envelope models contribute most to variability, particularly in projected novel climatic conditions over Sahelian and southern Saharan Africa. To summarize agreements among projections from the bioclimatic envelope models we compare five consensus methodologies, which generally increase or retain projection accuracy and provide consistent estimates of species turnover. Variability from emissions scenarios increases towards late-century and affects southern regions of high species turnover centred in arid Namibia. Twofold differences in median species turnover across the study area emerge among alternative climate projections and emissions scenarios. Our ensemble of projections underscores the potential bias when using a single algorithm or climate projection for Africa, and provides a cautious first approximation of the potential exposure of sub-Saharan African vertebrates to climatic changes. The future use and further development of bioclimatic envelope modelling will hinge on the interpretation of results in the light of methodological as well as biological uncertainties. Here, we provide a framework to address methodological uncertainties and contextualize results.
Project description:BACKGROUNDS AND AIMS:Tropical plant species are already suffering the effects of climate change and projections warn of even greater changes in the following decades. Of particular concern are alterations in flowering phenology, given that it is considered a fitness trait, part of plant species ecological niche, with potential cascade effects in plant-pollinator interactions. The aim of the study was to assess the potential impacts of climate change on the geographical distribution and flowering phenology of hummingbird-pollinated plants. METHODS:We implemented ecological niche modelling (ENM) to investigate the potential impacts of different climate change scenarios on the geographical distribution and flowering phenology of 62 hummingbird-pollinated plant species in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. KEY RESULTS:Distribution models indicate future changes in the climatic suitability of their current habitats, suggesting a tendency towards discontinuity, reduction and spatial displacement. Flowering models indicate that climate can influence species phenology in different ways: some species may experience increased flowering suitability whereas others may suffer decreased suitability. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that hummingbird-pollinated species are prone to changes in their geographical distribution and flowering under different climate scenarios. Such variation may impact the community structure of ecological networks and reproductive success of tropical plants in the near future.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In the Old World, sandfly species of the genus Phlebotomus are known vectors of Leishmania, Bartonella and several viruses. Recent sandfly catches and autochthonous cases of leishmaniasis hint on spreading tendencies of the vectors towards Central Europe. However, studies addressing potential future distribution of sandflies in the light of a changing European climate are missing.<h4>Methodology</h4>Here, we modelled bioclimatic envelopes using MaxEnt for five species with proven or assumed vector competence for Leishmania infantum, which are either predominantly located in (south-) western (Phlebotomus ariasi, P. mascittii and P. perniciosus) or south-eastern Europe (P. neglectus and P. perfiliewi). The determined bioclimatic envelopes were transferred to two climate change scenarios (A1B and B1) for Central Europe (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) using data of the regional climate model COSMO-CLM. We detected the most likely way of natural dispersal ("least-cost path") for each species and hence determined the accessibility of potential future climatically suitable habitats by integrating landscape features, projected changes in climatic suitability and wind speed.<h4>Results and relevance</h4>Results indicate that the Central European climate will become increasingly suitable especially for those vector species with a current south-western focus of distribution. In general, the highest suitability of Central Europe is projected for all species in the second half of the 21st century, except for P. perfiliewi. Nevertheless, we show that sandflies will hardly be able to occupy their climatically suitable habitats entirely, due to their limited natural dispersal ability. A northward spread of species with south-eastern focus of distribution may be constrained but not completely avoided by the Alps. Our results can be used to install specific monitoring systems to the projected risk zones of potential sandfly establishment. This is urgently needed for adaptation and coping strategies against the emerging spread of sandfly-borne diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chikungunya was, from the European perspective, considered to be a travel-related tropical mosquito-borne disease prior to the first European outbreak in Northern Italy in 2007. This was followed by cases of autochthonous transmission reported in South-eastern France in 2010. Both events occurred after the introduction, establishment and expansion of the Chikungunya-competent and highly invasive disease vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) in Europe. In order to assess whether these outbreaks are indicative of the beginning of a trend or one-off events, there is a need to further examine the factors driving the potential transmission of Chikungunya in Europe. The climatic suitability, both now and in the future, is an essential starting point for such an analysis. METHODS: The climatic suitability for Chikungunya outbreaks was determined by using bioclimatic factors that influence, both vector and, pathogen. Climatic suitability for the European distribution of the vector Aedes albopictus was based upon previous correlative environmental niche models. Climatic risk classes were derived by combining climatic suitability for the vector with known temperature requirements for pathogen transmission, obtained from outbreak regions. In addition, the longest potential intra-annual season for Chikungunya transmission was estimated for regions with expected vector occurrences.In order to analyse spatio-temporal trends for risk exposure and season of transmission in Europe, climate change impacts are projected for three time-frames (2011-2040, 2041-2070 and 2071-2100) and two climate scenarios (A1B and B1) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These climatic projections are based on regional climate model COSMO-CLM, which builds on the global model ECHAM5. RESULTS: European areas with current and future climatic suitability of Chikungunya transmission are identified. An increase in risk is projected for Western Europe (e.g. France and Benelux-States) in the first half of the 21st century and from mid-century onwards for central parts of Europe (e.g. Germany). Interestingly, the southernmost parts of Europe do not generally provide suitable conditions in these projections. Nevertheless, many Mediterranean regions will persist to be climatically suitable for transmission. Overall, the highest risk of transmission by the end of the 21st century was projected for France, Northern Italy and the Pannonian Basin (East-Central Europe). This general tendency is depicted in both, the A1B and B1 climate change scenarios. CONCLUSION: In order to guide preparedness for further outbreaks, it is crucial to anticipate risk as to identify areas where specific public health measures, such as surveillance and vector control, can be implemented. However, public health practitioners need to be aware that climate is only one factor driving the transmission of vector-borne disease.
Project description:We evaluate bioclimatic changes in Kazakhstan from the end of the 20th century until the middle of the 21st century to offer natural resource managers a tool that facilitates their decision-making on measures to adapt agriculture and environmental care to foreseeable climate change. We use climatic data from the "Providing REgional Climates for Impact Studies" (PRECIS) prediction and study them following the Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (WBCS) of Rivas-Martínez. For three 25-year intervals (1980-2004, 2010-2034 and 2035-2059), we identify the continentality, macrobioclimates, bioclimates, bioclimatic variants, thermotypes, ombrotypes and isobioclimates of the study area. The results of the work allow us to: locate the territories where bioclimatic conditions will change, quantify the magnitude of the predicted climate changes, and determine the trends of predictable climate change. We present the results in maps, tables and graphs. For the 80-year interval, we identify 3 macroclimates, 3 bioclimatic variants, 10 bioclimates, 11 thermotypes, 10 ombrotypes and 43 isobioclimates. Some of those found bioclimates, thermotypes, ombrotypes and isobioclimates are only located in the E, SE and S mountains, where they occupy very small areas, that decrease in a generalized way as the 20th century progresses. Comparing the three successive periods, the following trends are observed: 36.2% of the territory increases in thermicity; 7.3% of the territory increases in continentality; 9.7% of the territory increases in annual aridity; 9.5% of the territory increases in summer aridity or mediterraneity; and generalized losses occur in the areas of all mountain isobioclimates. The climate change foreseen by the PRECIS model for the middle of the 21st century leads to bioclimatic homogenization, with 20.8% losses in bioclimatic diversity. We indicate on maps the locations of all the predicted bioclimatic changes; these maps may provide decision makers with a scientific basis to take necessary adaptation measures.
Project description:Increasingly, ecological modellers are integrating paleodata with future projections to understand climate-driven biodiversity dynamics from the past through the current century. Climate simulations from earth system models are necessary to this effort, but must be debiased and downscaled before they can be used by ecological models. Downscaling methods and observational baselines vary among researchers, which produces confounding biases among downscaled climate simulations. We present unified datasets of debiased and downscaled climate simulations for North America from 21?ka BP to 2100AD, at 0.5° spatial resolution. Temporal resolution is decadal averages of monthly data until 1950AD, average climates for 1950-2005 AD, and monthly data from 2010 to 2100AD, with decadal averages also provided. This downscaling includes two transient paleoclimatic simulations and 12 climate models for the IPCC AR5 (CMIP5) historical (1850-2005), RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 21st-century scenarios. Climate variables include primary variables and derived bioclimatic variables. These datasets provide a common set of climate simulations suitable for seamlessly modelling the effects of past and future climate change on species distributions and diversity.
Project description:Floral nectar is a vital resource for pollinators, thus having a very important role in ecosystem functioning. Ongoing climate warming could have a negative effect on nectar secretion, particularly in the Mediterranean, where a strong temperature rise is expected. In turn, decreased nectar secretion, together with shifts in flowering phenology can disrupt plant-pollinator interactions and consequently affect the entire ecosystem. Under fully controlled conditions, we tested how temperature influenced nectar secretion (through nectar volume, sugar concentration, sugar content, and number of flowers produced) in six Mediterranean plant species flowering from winter to summer (viz. Asphodelus ramosus, Ballota acetabulosa, Echium plantagineum, Lavandula stoechas, Rosmarinus officinalis, and Teucrium divaricatum). We compared the changes in nectar secretion under temperatures expected by the end of the century and estimated the effect of climate warming on nectar secretion of plants flowering in different seasons. We found a significant effect of temperature on nectar secretion, with a negative effect of very high temperatures in all species. Optimal temperatures for nectar secretion were similar to the mean temperatures in the recent past (1958-2001) during the respective flowering time of each species. Increasing temperatures, however, will affect differently the early-flowering (blooming in winter and early spring) and late-flowering species (blooming in late spring and early summer). Temperature rise expected by the end of the century will shift the average temperature beyond the optimal range for flower production and the sugar produced per plant in late-flowering species. Therefore, we expect a future decrease in nectar secretion of late-flowering species, which could reduce the amount of nectar resources available for their pollinators. Early-flowering plants will be less affected (optimal temperatures were not significantly different from the future projected temperatures), and may in some cases even benefit from rising temperatures. However, as many earlier studies have found that early-flowering species are more prone to shifts in phenology, the plant-pollinator interactions could instead become affected in a different manner. Consequently, climate warming will likely have a distinctive effect on both plant and pollinator populations and their interactions across different seasons.
Project description:Climate change has altered the global distribution of many species. Accordingly, we have assessed here the potential shift in the distribution of Gypsophila bermejoi G. López under distinct scenarios of future climate change, this being a species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. For strict gypsophiles, climatic changes affecting their potential area of distribution could be critical if the new range is not overlapped with suitable soils. Thus, the narrow bioclimatic niche and the endemic nature of this plant could make this species particularly vulnerable to climate change. We used the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) method to study the potential distribution of this taxon under four different scenarios of climate change, pin-pointing relevant changes in the potential distribution of this plant and enabling possible future areas of refuge to be assessed. Such scenarios are defined according to four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) [, which represent different trends in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As a result, we predict notable changes in the potential distribution of G. bermejoi, and the overlap between soil and bioclimatic suitability would be affected. We also used a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to model the bioclimatic niche of this species, comparing it with that of its parental taxa. The evolution of bioclimatic suitability was assessed at the current locations of G. bermejoi and as this plant is a strict gypsophile, we generated suitability maps for sites with gypsum soils. Ultimately, this study identifies relevant changes in the potential distribution of G. bermejoi under specific climatic scenarios, observing remarkable differences in the outcomes of the different climate change scenarios. Interestingly, in some scenarios the bioclimatic suitability of G. bermejoi will be enhanced at many locations and even in the worst scenario some possible refuge areas were identified. G. bermejoi behaves more like a hardy survivor than as early victim.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The impact of global climate change on plant distribution, speciation and extinction is of current concern. Examining species climatic preferences via bioclimatic niche modelling is a key tool to study this impact. There is an established link between bioclimatic niche models and phylogenetic diversification. A next step is to examine future distribution predictions from a phylogenetic perspective. We present such a study using Cyclamen (Myrsinaceae), a group which demonstrates morphological and phenological adaptations to its seasonal Mediterranean-type climate. How will the predicted climate change affect future distribution of this popular genus of garden plants? RESULTS: We demonstrate phylogenetic structure for some climatic characteristics, and show that most Cyclamen have distinct climatic niches, with the exception of several wide-ranging, geographically expansive, species. We reconstruct climate preferences for hypothetical ancestral Cyclamen. The ancestral Cyclamen lineage has a preference for the seasonal Mediterranean climate characteristic of dry summers and wet winters. Future bioclimatic niches, based on BIOCLIM and Maxent models, are examined with reference to a future climate scenario for the 2050s. Over the next 50 years we predict a northward shift in the area of climatic suitability, with many areas of current distribution becoming climatically unsuitable. The area of climatic suitability for every Cyclamen species is predicted to decrease. For many species, there may be no areas with a suitable climate regardless of dispersal ability, these species are considered to be at high risk of extinction. This risk is examined from a phylogenetic perspective. CONCLUSION: Examining bioclimatic niches from a phylogenetic perspective permits novel interpretations of these models. In particular, reconstruction of ancestral niches can provide testable hypothesis about the historical development of lineages. In the future we can expect a northwards shift in climatic suitability for the genus Cyclamen. If this proves to be the case then dispersal is the best chance of survival, which seems highly unlikely for ant-dispersed Cyclamen. Human-assisted establishment of Cyclamen species well outside their native ranges offers hope and could provide the only means of dispersal to potentially suitable future environments. Even without human intervention the phylogenetic perspective demonstrates that major lineages could survive climate change even if many species are lost.
Project description:Climate change is affecting the growth, phenology, and distribution of species across northeastern United States. In response to these changes, some species have been adversely impacted while others have benefited. One species that has benefited from climate change, historically and in response to experimental treatments, is common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), a widely distributed annual weed and a leading cause of hay fever in North America. To better understand how climate change may affect the distribution of common ragweed, we built a maximum entropy (Maxent) predictive model using climate and bioclimatic data and over 700 observations across the eastern U.S. Our model performed well with an AUC score of 0.765 using four uncorrelated variables, including precipitation seasonality, mean diurnal temperature range, August precipitation, and January maximum temperature. After building and testing our model, we then projected potential future common ragweed distribution using a suite of 13 global climate models (GCMs) under two future greenhouse gas scenarios for mid and late-century. In addition to providing georeferenced hot spots of potential future expansion, we also provide a metric of confidence by evaluating the number of GCMs that agree. We show a substantial contraction of common ragweed in central Florida, southern Appalachian Mountains, and northeastern Virginia and areas of potential expansion at the northern margins of its current distribution, notably in northeastern U.S. However, the vast majority of this increase is projected to occur by mid-century and may be moderated somewhat by the 2070s, implying that common ragweed may be sensitive to climatic variability. Although other factors and modeling approaches should be explored, we offer preliminary insight into where common ragweed might be a new concern in the future. Due to the health impacts of ragweed, local weed control boards may be well advised to monitor areas of expansion and potentially increase eradication efforts.