Estimating possible bumblebee range shifts in response to climate and land cover changes.
ABSTRACT: Wild bee decline has been reported worldwide. Some bumblebee species (Bombus spp.) have declined in Europe and North America, and their ranges have shrunk due to climate and land cover changes. In countries with limited historical and current occurrence data, it is often difficult to investigate bumblebee range shifts. Here we estimated the past/present distributions of six major bumblebee species in Japan with species distribution modeling using current occurrence data and past/present climate and land cover data. The differences identified between estimated past and present distributions indicate possible range shifts. The estimated ranges of B. diversus, B. hypocrita, B. ignitus, B. honshuensis, and B. beaticola shrank over the past 26 years, but that of B. ardens expanded. The lower altitudinal limits of the estimated ranges became higher as temperature increased. When focusing on the effects of land cover change, the estimated range of B. diversus slightly shrank due to an increase in forest area. Such increase in forest area may result from the abandonment of agricultural lands and the extension of the rotation time of planted coniferous forests and secondary forests. Managing old planted coniferous forests and secondary forests will be key to bumblebee conservation for adaptation to climate change.
Project description:Forests cover approximately one-third of Central Europe. Oak (Quercus) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) are considered the natural dominants at low and middle elevations, respectively. Many coniferous forests (especially of Picea abies) occur primarily at midelevations, but these are thought to have resulted from forestry plantations planted over the past 200 years. Nature conservation and forestry policy seek to promote broadleaved trees over conifers. However, there are discrepancies between conservation guidelines (included in Natura 2000) and historical and palaeoecological data with regard to the distribution of conifers. Our aim was to bring new evidence to the debate on the conservation of conifers versus broadleaved trees at midelevations in Central Europe. We created a vegetation and land-cover model based on pollen data for a highland area of 11,300 km2 in the Czech Republic and assessed tree species composition in the forests before the onset of modern forestry based on 18th-century archival sources. Conifers dominated the study region throughout the entire Holocene (approximately 40-60% of the area). Broadleaved trees were present in a much smaller area than envisaged by current ideas of natural vegetation. Rather than casting doubt on the principles of Central European nature conservation in general, our results highlight the necessity of detailed regional investigations and the importance of historical data in challenging established notions on the natural distribution of tree species.
Project description:The responses of individuals and populations to climate change vary as functions of physiology, ecology, and plasticity. We investigated whether annual variation in seasonal temperature and precipitation was associated with relative abundances of breeding bird species at local and regional levels in southern California, USA, from 1968-2013. We tested our hypotheses that abundances were correlated positively with precipitation and negatively with temperature in this semiarid to arid region. We also examined whether responses to climate varied among groups of species with similar land-cover associations, nesting locations, and migratory patterns. We investigated relations between seasonal climate variables and the relative abundances of 41 species as estimated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Associations with climate variables varied among species. Results of models of species associated with arid scrublands or that nest on the ground strongly supported our hypotheses, whereas those of species associated with coniferous forests or that nest in cavities did not. Associations between climate variables and the abundances of other trait-based groups were diverse. Our results suggest that species in arid areas may be negatively affected by increased temperature and aridity, but species in nearby areas that are cooler and less arid may respond positively to those fluctuations in climate. Relations with climate variables can differ among similar species, and such knowledge may inform projections of future abundance trajectories and geographic ranges.
Project description:In this article we illustrate how fine-grained longitudinal analyses of land holding and land use among forest peasant households in an Amazonian village can enrich our understanding of the poverty/land cover nexus. We examine the dynamic links in shifting cultivation systems among asset poverty, land use, and land cover in a community where poverty is persistent and primary forests have been replaced over time--with community enclosure--by secondary forests (i.e., fallows), orchards, and crop land. Land cover change is assessed using aerial photographs/satellite imagery from 1965 to 2007. Household and plot level data are used to track land holding, portfolios, and use as well as land cover over the past 30 y, with particular attention to forest status (type and age). Our analyses find evidence for two important types of "land-use" poverty traps--a "subsistence crop" trap and a "short fallow" trap--and indicate that the initial conditions of land holding by forest peasants have long-term effects on future forest cover and household welfare. These findings suggest a new mechanism driving poverty traps: insufficient initial land holdings induce land use patterns that trap households in low agricultural productivity. Path dependency in the evolution of household land portfolios and land use strategies strongly influences not only the wellbeing of forest people but also the dynamics of tropical deforestation and secondary forest regrowth.
Project description:The Adirondacks of New York State, USA is a region that is sensitive to atmospheric mercury (Hg) deposition. In this study, we estimated atmospheric Hg deposition to the Adirondacks using a new scheme that combined numerical modeling and limited experimental data. The majority of the land cover in the Adirondacks is forested with 47% of the total area deciduous, 20% coniferous and 10% mixed. We used litterfall plus throughfall deposition as the total atmospheric Hg deposition to coniferous and deciduous forests during the leaf-on period, and wet Hg deposition plus modeled atmospheric dry Hg deposition as the total Hg deposition to the deciduous forest during the leaf-off period and for the non-forested areas year-around. To estimate atmospheric dry Hg deposition we used the Big Leaf model. The average atmospheric Hg deposition to the Adirondacks was estimated as 17.4 [Formula: see text]g m[Formula: see text] yr[Formula: see text] with a range of -3.7-46.0 [Formula: see text]g m[Formula: see text] yr[Formula: see text]. Atmospheric Hg dry deposition (370 kg yr[Formula: see text]) was found to be more important than wet deposition (210 kg yr[Formula: see text]) to the entire Adirondacks (2.4 million ha). The spatial pattern showed a large variation in atmospheric Hg deposition with scattered areas in the eastern Adirondacks having total Hg deposition greater than 30 ?g m(-2) yr(-1), while the southwestern and the northern areas received Hg deposition ranging from 25-30 ?g m(-2) yr(-1).
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Quaternary had worldwide consequences in forming the contemporary diversity of many populations, species and communities, which is characterized by marked climatic oscillations between glacial and interglacial periods. The origin and evolution of biodiversity in mountainous areas are highly dependent on historical orogenesis and associated climatic changes. The Chinese grouse Tetrastes sewerzowi is a forest-dwelling species endemic to the mountains to the east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which has been listed as Near Threatened with a decreasing trend by the IUCN because of ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of coniferous forests. It is important to place current population status into a broader ecological and evolutionary context to understand their demographic history. RESULTS:Analyses of the Chinese Grouse genome revealed fluctuations throughout the Pleistocene in effective population size. Populations decreased during early to middle Pleistocene but showed an expansion during late Pleistocene which was then followed by a sharp decline during the last glacial maximum (LGM). Ecological niche modeling indicated that a suitable habitat shift between high altitude regions to low altitude regions was due to a changing climate. This result parallels patterns of population size change in Chinese Grouse estimated from PSMC modelling, which suggested an expansion in population size from the last interglacial period (LIG) and then a peak and a bottleneck occurring at the last glacial maximum (LGM). Furthermore, the present-day distribution of Chinese Grouse is greatly reduced and fragmented. It will likely become even more fragmented in the future since coniferous forest cover is threatened in the region of their distribution and the availability of such habitat restricts their ecological niche. CONCLUSIONS:The Chinese Grouse have experienced substantial population size changes from the beginning to the LIG and reached a peak before the LGM. A sharp decrease and bottleneck occurred during the LGM, when the coniferous forests were subjected to extensive loss. The results inferred from the whole genome sequencing and species distribution models both support historical population fluctuations. The distribution of the Chinese Grouse is strongly dependent on the coniferous forest cover. To protect the fragmented coniferous forests is an essential action to protect the Chinese Grouse.
Project description:This study provides regional estimates of forest cover in dry African ecoregions and the changes in forest cover that occurred there between 1990 and 2000, using a systematic sample of medium-resolution satellite imagery which was processed consistently across the continent.The study area corresponds to the dry forests and woodlands of Africa between the humid forests and the semi-arid regions. This area covers the Sudanian and Zambezian ecoregions.A systematic sample of 1600 Landsat satellite imagery subsets, each 20 km × 20 km in size, were analysed for two reference years: 1990 and 2000. At each sample site and for both years, dense tree cover, open tree cover, other wooded land and other vegetation cover were identified from the analysis of satellite imagery, which comprised multidate segmentation and automatic classification steps followed by visual control by national forestry experts.Land cover and land-cover changes were estimated at continental and ecoregion scales and compared with existing pan-continental, regional and local studies. The overall accuracy of our land-cover maps was estimated at 87%. Between 1990 and 2000, 3.3 million hectares (Mha) of dense tree cover, 5.8 Mha of open tree cover and 8.9 Mha of other wooded land were lost, with a further 3.9 Mha degraded from dense to open tree cover. These results are substantially lower than the 34 Mha of forest loss reported in the FAO's 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment for the same period and area.Our method generates the first consistent and robust estimates of forest cover and change in dry Africa with known statistical precision at continental and ecoregion scales. These results reduce the uncertainty regarding vegetation cover and its dynamics in these previously poorly studied ecosystems and provide crucial information for both science and environmental policies.
Project description:Seasonally dry forests in the neotropics are heavily threatened by a combination of human disturbances and climate change; however, the severity of these threats is seldom contrasted. This study aims to quantify and compare the effects of deforestation and climate change on the natural spatial ranges of 17 characteristic tree species of southern Ecuador dry deciduous forests, which are heavily fragmented and support high levels of endemism as part of the Tumbesian ecoregion. We used 660 plant records to generate species distribution models and land-cover data to project species ranges for two time frames: a simulated deforestation scenario from 2008 to 2014 with native forest to anthropogenic land-use conversion, and an extreme climate change scenario (CCSM4.0, RCP 8.5) for 2050, which assumed zero change from human activities. To assess both potential threats, we compared the estimated annual rates of species loss (i.e., range shifts) affecting each species. Deforestation loss for all species averaged approximately 71 km2/year, while potential climate-attributed loss was almost 21 km2/year. Moreover, annual area loss rates due to deforestation were significantly higher than those attributed to climate-change (P < 0.01). However, projections into the future scenario show evidence of diverging displacement patterns, indicating the potential formation of novel ecosystems, which is consistent with other species assemblage predictions as result of climate change. Furthermore, we provide recommendations for management and conservation, prioritizing the most threatened species such as Albizia multiflora, Ceiba trichistandra, and Cochlospermum vitifolium.
Project description:A new reconstruction of changes in Taiwan's land cover and estimated uncertainty between 1904 and 2015 is presented. The reconstruction is made by integrating geographical information from historical maps and SPOT satellite images, to obtain spatially explicit land cover maps with a resolution of 500 × 500?m and distinguishes six land cover classes: forests, grasslands, agricultural land, inland water, built-up land, and bare soil. The temporal resolution is unbalanced being derived from four historical maps describing the land cover between 1904 and 1994 and five mosaic satellite images describing the land cover between 1995 and 2015. The uncertainty of the historical maps is quantified to show the aggregation error whereas the uncertainty of the satellite images is quantified as classification error. Since 1904, Taiwan, as a developing country, has gone through a not unusual sequence of population growth and subsequent urbanization, a decoupling of the demand for agricultural land from population growth, and a transition from shrinking in forest area to forest expansion. This new land cover reconstruction is expected to contribute to future revisions of global land cover reconstructions as well as to studies of (gross) land cover changes, the carbon budget, regional climate, urban heat islands, and air and water pollution at the national and sub-national level.
Project description:Forests are among the most species rich habitats and the way they are managed influences their capacity to protect biodiversity. To fulfill increasing wood demands in the future, planted and non-planted wood production will need to expand. While biodiversity assessments usually focus on the impacts of deforestation, the effects of wood harvest are mostly not considered, especially not in a spatially explicit manner. We present here a global approach to refine the representation of forest management through allocating future wood production to planted and non-planted forests. Wood production, following wood consumption projections of three Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, was allocated using likelihood maps for planted and production forests. On a global scale, plantations for wood production were projected to increase by 45-65% and harvested area in non-planted forests by 1-17%. The biodiversity impacts of changes in wood production patterns were estimated by applying two commonly used indicators: (1) changes in species richness and (2) changes in habitat-suitable ranges of single species. The impact was analyzed using forest cover changes as reference. Our results show that, although forest cover changes have the largest impact on biodiversity, changes in wood production also have a significant effect. The magnitude of impacts caused by changes of wood production substantially differs by region and taxa. Given the importance of forest production changes in net negative emission pathways, more focus should be put on assessing the effects of future changes in wood production patterns as part of overall land use change impacts.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>Forests play an important role in mitigating global climate change by capturing and sequestering atmospheric carbon. Quantitative estimation of the temporal and spatial pattern of carbon storage in forest ecosystems is critical for formulating forest management policies to combat climate change. This study explored the effects of land cover change on carbon stock dynamics in the Wujig Mahgo Waren forest, a dry Afromontane forest that covers an area of 17,000 ha in northern Ethiopia.<label>RESULTS</label>The total carbon stocks of the Wujig Mahgo Waren forest ecosystems estimated using a multi-disciplinary approach that combined remote sensing with a ground survey were 1951, 1999, and 1955 GgC in 1985, 2000 and 2016 years respectively. The mean carbon stocks in the dense forests, open forests, grasslands, cultivated lands and bare lands were estimated at 181.78?±?27.06, 104.83?±?12.35, 108.77?±?6.77, 76.54?±?7.84 and 83.11?±?8.53 MgC ha-1 respectively. The aboveground vegetation parameters (tree density, DBH and height) explain 59% of the variance in soil organic carbon.<label>CONCLUSIONS</label>The obtained estimates of mean carbon stocks in ecosystems representing the major land cover types are of importance in the development of forest management plan aimed at enhancing mitigation potential of dry Afromontane forests in northern Ethiopia.