Browsing by Subject "PROTECTED AREAS"

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  • Amara, Edward; Adhikari, Hari; Heiskanen, Janne; Siljander, Mika; Munyao, Martha; Omondi, Patrick; Pellikka, Petri (2020)
    Savannahs provide valuable ecosystem services and contribute to continental and global carbon budgets. In addition, savannahs exhibit multiple land uses, e.g., wildlife conservation, pastoralism, and crop farming. Despite their importance, the effect of land use on woody aboveground biomass (AGB) in savannahs is understudied. Furthermore, fences used to reduce human-wildlife conflicts may affect AGB patterns. We assessed AGB densities and patterns, and the effect of land use and fences on AGB in a multi-use savannah landscape in southeastern Kenya. AGB was assessed with field survey and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, and a land cover map was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images in Google Earth Engine. The highest woody AGB was found in riverine forest in a conservation area and in bushland outside the conservation area. The highest mean AGB density occurred in the non-conservation area with mixed bushland and cropland (8.9 Mg center dot ha(-1)), while the lowest AGB density (2.6 Mg center dot ha(-1)) occurred in overgrazed grassland in the conservation area. The largest differences in AGB distributions were observed in the fenced boundaries between the conservation and other land-use types. Our results provide evidence that conservation and fences can create sharp AGB transitions and lead to reduced AGB stocks, which is a vital role of savannahs as part of carbon sequestration.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2017)
    Species richness is predicted to increase in the northern latitudes in the warming climate due to ranges of many southern species expanding northwards. We studied changes in the composition of the whole avifauna and in bird species richness in a period of already warming climate in Finland (in northern Europe) covering 1,100km in south-north gradient across the boreal zone (over 300,000km(2)). We compared bird species richness and species-specific changes (for all 235 bird species that occur in Finland) in range size (number of squares occupied) and range shifts (measured as median of area of occupancy) based on bird atlas studies between 1974-1989 and 2006-2010. In addition, we tested how the habitat preference and migration strategy of species explain species-specific variation in the change of the range size. The study was carried out in 10km squares with similar research intensity in both time periods. The species richness did not change significantly between the two time periods. The composition of the bird fauna, however, changed considerably with 37.0% of species showing an increase and 34.9% a decrease in the numbers of occupied squares, that is, about equal number of species gained and lost their range. Altogether 95.7% of all species (225/235) showed changes either in the numbers of occupied squares or they experienced a range shift (or both). The range size of archipelago birds increased and long-distance migrants declined significantly. Range loss observed in long-distance migrants is in line with the observed population declines of long-distance migrants in the whole Europe. The results show that there is an ongoing considerable species turnover due to climate change and due to land use and other direct human influence. High bird species turnover observed in northern Europe may also affect the functional diversity of species communities.
  • Engen, Sigrid; Hausner, Vera Helene; Gurney, Georgina G.; Broderstad, Else Grete; Keller, Rose; Lundberg, Aase Kristine; Murguzur, Francisco Javier Ancin; Salminen, Emma; Raymond, Christopher M.; Falk-Andersson, Jannike; Fauchald, Per (2021)
    Ocean-based economic development arising from an increasing interest in the 'blue economy' is placing ecosystems and small-scale fisheries under pressure. The dominant policy response for dealing with multiple uses is the allocation of coastal space through coastal zone planning (CZP). Recent studies have shown that the rush to develop the blue economy and regulate coastal activity can result in social injustices and the exclusion of less powerful and unrecognized groups (e.g., small-scale fishers, women, Indigenous peoples and youth). To achieve a primary goal of the 2030 sustainable development agenda to "leave no one behind", it is important to understand the implications of coastal planning and development for these groups. Here, we present a social survey protocol for examining perceptions of justice related to small-scale fisheries (SSF) in the context of the blue economy in coastal areas. Specifically, we designed the survey instrument and sampling protocol to assess whether decisions about the use of the coastal zone over the last five years have i) followed principles of good governance, ii) recognized fishers' knowledge, culture and rights and iii) been attentive to impacts of changed coastal zone use on fisheries. The survey will engage coastal planners (N = app. 120) and fishers (N = app. 4300) in all the coastal municipalities (N = 81) in Northern-Norway. The sampling protocol is designed to ensure representation of different sectors of society, including those defined by gender, age, ethnicity and occupation (e.g., small-scale fishers, large-scale fishers, coastal planners).
  • Di Minin, Enrico; Clements, Hayley Susan; Correia, Ricardo A.; Cortes Capano, Gonzalo; Fink, Christoph; Haukka, Anna; Hausmann, Anna; Kulkarni, Ritwik; Bradshaw, Corey (2021)
    The widespread activity of recreational hunting is proposed as a means of conserving nature and supporting livelihoods. However, recreational hunting-especially trophy hunting-has come under increasing scrutiny based on ethical concerns and the arguments that it can threaten species and fail to contribute meaningfully to local livelihoods. We provide an overview of the peer-reviewed literature on recreational hunting of terrestrial birds and mammals between 1953 and 2020 (> 1,000 papers). The most-studied species are large mammals from North America, Europe, and Africa. While there is extensive research on species' ecology to inform sustainable hunting practices, there is comparably little research on the role of local perceptions and institutions in determining socioeconomic and conservation outcomes. Evidence is lacking to answer the pressing questions of where and how hunting contributes to just and sustainable conservation efforts. We outline an agenda to build this evidence base through research that recognizes diverse social-ecological contexts.
  • Kujala, Heini; Moilanen, Atte; Araujo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2013)
  • Pellissier, V.; Schmucki, R.; Pe'er, G.; Aunins, A.; Brereton, T.M.; Brotons, L.; Carnicer, J.; Chodkiewicz, T.; Chylarecki, P.; del Moral, J.C.; Escandell, V.; Evans, D.; Foppen, R.; Harpke, A.; Heliölä, J.; Herrando, S.; Kuussaari, M.; Kühn, E.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lindström, Å.; Moshøj, C.M.; Musche, M.; Noble, D.; Oliver, T.H.; Reif, J.; Richard, D.; Roy, D.B.; Schweiger, O.; Settele, J.; Stefanescu, C.; Teufelbauer, N.; Touroult, J.; Trautmann, S.; van Strien, A.J.; van Swaay, C.A.M.; van Turnhout, C.; Vermouzek, Z.; Voříšek, P.; Jiguet, F.; Julliard, R. (2020)
    ABSTRACT The European Union's Natura 2000 (N2000), is one of the largest international networks of protected areas. One of its aims is to secure the status of a pre-determined set of (targeted) bird and butterfly species. However, also non-target species may benefit from N2000. We evaluated how the terrestrial component of this network relates to the abundance of non-targeted, more common bird and butterfly species using data from long-term volunteer-based monitoring programs in 9,602 sites for birds and 2,001 sites for butterflies. In almost half of the 155 bird species assessed, and particularly among woodland specialists, abundance increased with the proportion of N2000 sites in the landscape. The corresponding positive relationship was found for 27 of the 104 butterfly species, although most of these species were generalists. These positive relationships disappeared for most of the species when land-cover covariates were taken into account, hinting that land-cover is a primary factor defining the positive effects of the N2000 network. The increase in abundance with N2000 was correlated with the specialization index for bird species, but not for butterfly species. Although the N2000 network supports higher abundance of a large spectrum of species, the low number of specialist butterfly species showing a positive association stresses the need to implement management plan improving the quality of habitats of N2000 areas potentially harboring openland butterfly specialists. For a better understanding of the processes involved, we advocate for a standardized collection of data on N2000 sites. Article impact statement: Across Europe the abundance of a majority of nontarget birds and a quarter of nontarget butterflies increased with Natura 2000 coverage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
  • Reside, April E.; VanDerWal, Jeremy; Moilanen, Atte; Graham, Erin M. (2017)
    With the high rate of ecosystem change already occurring and predicted to occur in the coming decades, long-term conservation has to account not only for current biodiversity but also for the biodiversity patterns anticipated for the future. The trade-offs between prioritising future biodiversity at the expense of current priorities must be understood to guide current conservation planning, but have been largely unexplored. To fill this gap, we compared the performance of four conservation planning solutions involving 662 vertebrate species in the Wet Tropics Natural Resource Management Cluster Region in north-eastern Australia. Input species data for the four planning solutions were: 1) current distributions; 2) projected distributions for 2055; 3) projected distributions for 2085; and 4) current, 2055 and 2085 projected distributions, and the connectivity between each of the three time periods for each species. The four planning solutions were remarkably similar (up to 85% overlap), suggesting that modelling for either current or future scenarios is sufficient for conversation planning for this region, with little obvious trade-off. Our analyses also revealed that overall, species with small ranges occurring across steep elevation gradients and at higher elevations were more likely to be better represented in all solutions. Given that species with these characteristics are of high conservation significance, our results provide confidence that conservation planning focused on either current, near-or distant-future biodiversity will account for these species.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Toivonen, Tuuli; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Pogson, Mark; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Moilanen, Atte (2016)
    Reliance on fossil fuels is causing unprecedented climate change and is accelerating environmental degradation and global biodiversity loss. Together, climate change and biodiversity loss, if not averted urgently, may inflict severe damage on ecosystem processes, functions and services that support the welfare of modern societies. Increasing renewable energy deployment and expanding the current protected area network represent key solutions to these challenges, but conflicts may arise over the use of limited land for energy production as opposed to biodiversity conservation. Here, we compare recently identified core areas for the expansion of the global protected area network with the renewable energy potential available from land-based solar photovoltaic, wind energy and bioenergy (in the form of Miscanthusxgiganteus). We show that these energy sources have very different biodiversity impacts and net energy contributions. The extent of risks and opportunities deriving from renewable energy development is highly dependent on the type of renewable source harvested, the restrictions imposed on energy harvest and the region considered, with Central America appearing at particularly high potential risk from renewable energy expansion. Without restrictions on power generation due to factors such as production and transport costs, we show that bioenergy production is a major potential threat to biodiversity, while the potential impact of wind and solar appears smaller than that of bioenergy. However, these differences become reduced when energy potential is restricted by external factors including local energy demand. Overall, we found that areas of opportunity for developing solar and wind energy with little harm to biodiversity could exist in several regions of the world, with the magnitude of potential impact being particularly dependent on restrictions imposed by local energy demand. The evidence provided here helps guide sustainable development of renewable energy and contributes to the targeting of global efforts in climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
  • Borges, Paulo A. V.; Cardoso, Pedro; Kreft, Holger; Whittaker, Robert J.; Fattorini, Simone; Emerson, Brent C.; Gil, Artur; Gillespie, Rosemary G.; Matthews, Thomas J.; Santos, Ana M. C.; Steinbauer, Manuel J.; Thebaud, Christophe; Ah-Peng, Claudine; Amorim, Isabel R.; Aranda, Silvia Calvo; Arroz, Ana Moura; Azevedo, Jose Manuel N.; Boieiro, Mario; Borda-de-Agua, Luis; Carvalho, Jose Carlos; Elias, Rui B.; Fernandez-Palacios, Jose Maria; Florencio, Margarita; Gonzalez-Mancebo, Juana M.; Heaney, Lawrence R.; Hortal, Joaquin; Kueffer, Christoph; Lequette, Benoit; Martin-Esquivel, Jose Luis; Lopez, Heriberto; Lamelas-Lopez, Lucas; Marcelino, Jose; Nunes, Rui; Oromi, Pedro; Patino, Jairo; Perez, Antonio J.; Rego, Carla; Ribeiro, Servio P.; Rigal, Francois; Rodrigues, Pedro; Rominger, Andrew J.; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Schaefer, Hanno; Sergio, Cecilia; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Sim-Sim, Manuela; Stephenson, P. J.; Soares, Antonio O.; Strasberg, Dominique; Vanderporten, Alain; Vieira, Virgilio; Gabriel, Rosalina (2018)
    Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monitoring schemes for those biota and ecosystems are urgently needed: (i) to provide quantitative baselines for detecting changes within island ecosystems, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation and management actions, and (iii) to identify general ecological patterns and processes using multiple island systems as repeated 'natural experiments'. In this contribution, we call for a Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS) for monitoring the remaining native island forests, using bryophytes, vascular plants, selected groups of arthropods and vertebrates as model taxa. As a basis for the GIMS, we also present new, optimized monitoring protocols for bryophytes and arthropods that were developed based on former standardized inventory protocols. Effective inventorying and monitoring of native island forests will require: (i) permanent plots covering diverse ecological gradients (e.g. elevation, age of terrain, anthropogenic disturbance); (ii) a multiple-taxa approach that is based on standardized and replicable protocols; (iii) a common set of indicator taxa and community properties that are indicative of native island forests' welfare, building on, and harmonized with existing sampling and monitoring efforts; (iv) capacity building and training of local researchers, collaboration and continuous dialogue with local stakeholders; and (v) long-term commitment by funding agencies to maintain a global network of native island forest monitoring plots.
  • Sanchez-Fernandez, David; Abellan, Pedro; Aragon, Pedro; Varela, Sara; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
    Recently, the European Commission adopted a new strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity. Member states are expected to favor a more effective collection and redistribution of European Union (EU) funds under the current Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020. Because of the large spatial variation in the distribution of biodiversity and conservation needs at the continental scale, EU instruments should ensure that countries with higher biodiversity values get more funds and resources for the conservation than other countries. Using linear regressions, we assessed the association between conservation investments and biodiversity values across member states, accounting for a variety of conservation investment indicators, taxonomic groups (including groups of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates), and indicators of biodiversity value. In general, we found clear overall associations between conservation investments and biodiversity variables. However, some countries received more or less investment than would be expected based on biodiversity values in those countries. We also found that the extensive use of birds as unique indicators of conservation effectiveness may lead to biased decisions. Our results can inform future decisions regarding funding allocation and thus improve distribution of EU conservation funds.
  • Fernandez-Llamazares, Alvaro; Helle, Joose; Eklund, Johanna; Balmford, Andrew; Moraes, Monica R.; Reyes-Garcia, Victoria; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
  • Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Virkkala, Raimo (2016)
    There is increasing evidence that climate change shifts species distributions towards poles and mountain tops. However, most studies are based on presence-absence data, and either abundance or the observation effort has rarely been measured. In addition, hardly any studies have investigated the direction of shifts and factors affecting them. Here, we show using count data on a 1000km south-north gradient in Finland, that between 1970-1989 and 2000-2012, 128 bird species shifted their densities, on average, 37km towards the north north-east. The species-specific directions of the shifts in density were significantly explained by migration behaviour and habitat type. Although the temperatures have also moved on average towards the north north-east (186km), the species-specific directions of the shifts in density and temperature did not correlate due to high variation in density shifts. Findings highlight that climate change is unlikely the only driver of the direction of species density shifts, but species-specific characteristics and human land-use practices are also influencing the direction. Furthermore, the alarming results show that former climatic conditions in the north-west corner of Finland have already moved out of the country. This highlights the need for an international approach in research and conservation actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
  • Trivino, Maria; Kujala, Heini; Araujo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
    Species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global environmental changes and additional protected areas are needed to encompass the corresponding changes in the distributions of their habitats. Conservation policies are likely to become obsolete unless they integrate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on biodiversity. We identify conservation priority areas for current and future projected distributions of Iberian bird species. We then investigate the extent to which global change informed priority areas are: (i) covered by existing protected area networks (national protected areas and Natura 2000); (ii) threatened by agricultural or urban land-use changes. We use outputs of species distributions models fitted with climatic data as inputs in spatial prioritization tools to identify conservation priority areas for 168 bird species. We use projections of land-use change to then discriminate between threatened and non-threatened priority areas. 19% of the priority areas for birds are covered by national protected areas and 23% are covered by Natura 2000 sites. The spatial mismatch between protected area networks and priority areas for birds is projected to increase with climate change. But there are opportunities to improve the protection of birds under climate change, as half of the priority areas are currently neither protected nor in conflict with urban or agricultural land-uses. We identify critical areas for bird conservation both under current and climate change conditions, and propose that they could guide the establishment of new conservation areas across the Iberian Peninsula complementing existing protected areas.
  • Pavon-Jordan, Diego; Abdou, Web; Azafzaf, Hichem; Balaz, Michal; Bino, Taulant; Borg, John J.; Bozic, Luca; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Clausen, Preben; Sniauksta, Laimonas; Dakki, Mohamed; Devos, Koen; Domsa, Cristi; Encarnacao, Vitor; Etayeb, Khaled; Farago, Sandor; Fox, Anthony D.; Frost, Teresa; Gaudard, Clemence; Georgiev, Valeri; Goratze, Irakli; Hornman, Menno; Keller, Verena; Kostiushyn, Vasiliy; Langendoen, Tom; Ieronymidou, Christina; Lewis, Lesley J.; Lorentsen, Svein-Hakon; Luigujoe, Leho; Meissner, Wlodzimierz; Mikuska, Tibor; Molina, Blas; Musil, Petr; Musilova, Zuzana; Nagy, Szabolcs; Natykanets, Viktor; Nilsson, Leif; Paquet, Jean-Yves; Portolou, Danae; Ridzon, Josef; Santangeli, Andrea; Sayoud, Samir; Sciban, Marko; Stipniece, Antra; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Topic, Goran; Uzunova, Danka; Vizi, Andrej; Wahl, Johannes; Yavuz, Kiraz E.; Zenatello, Marco; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Lawicki, Lukasz (2020)
    Migratory waterbirds require an effectively conserved cohesive network of wetland areas throughout their range and life-cycle. Under rapid climate change, protected area (PA) networks need to be able to accommodate climate-driven range shifts in wildlife if they are to continue to be effective in the future. Thus, we investigated geographical variation in the relationship between local temperature anomaly and the abundance of 61 waterbird species during the wintering season across Europe and North Africa during 1990-2015. We also compared the spatio-temporal effects on abundance of sites designated as PAs, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), both, or neither designation (Unlisted). Waterbird abundance was positively correlated with temperature anomaly, with this pattern being strongest towards north and east Europe. Waterbird abundance was higher inside IBAs, whether they were legally protected or not. Trends in waterbird abundance were also consistently more positive inside both protected and unprotected IBAs across the whole study region, and were positive in Unlisted wetlands in southwestern Europe and North Africa. These results suggest that IBAs are important sites for wintering waterbirds, but also that populations are shifting to unprotected wetlands (some of which are IBAs). Such IBAs may therefore represent robust candidate sites to expand the network of legally protected wetlands under climate change in north-eastern Europe. These results underscore the need for monitoring to understand how the effectiveness of site networks is changing under climate change.
  • Siljander, Mika; Kuronen, Toini; Johansson, Tino; Munyao, Martha Nzisa; Pellikka, Petri K. E. (2020)
    Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a growing concern for local communities living in the vicinity of protected areas. These conflicts commonly take place as attack by wild animals and crop-raiding events, among other forms. We studied crop-raiding patterns by non-human primates in forest-agricultural landscape mosaic in the Taita Hills, southeast Kenya. The study applies both qualitative and quantitative methods. Semi-structured questionnaire was used in the primary data collection from the households, and statistical tests were performed. We used applied geospatial methods to reveal spatial patterns of crop-raiding by primates and preventive actions by farmers. The results indicate most of the farms experienced crop-raiding on a weekly basis. Blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) was the worst crop-raiding species and could be found in habitats covered by different land use/land cover types. Vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) and galagos crop-raided farms in areas with abundant tree canopy cover. Only few baboons (Papio cynocephalus) were reported to raid crops in the area. Results also show that the closer a farm is to the forest boundary and the less neighbouring farms there are between the farm and the forest, the more vulnerable it is for crop-raiding by blue monkeys, but not by any other studied primate species. The study could not show that a specific type of food crop in a farm or type of land use/land cover inside the wildlife corridor between the farmland and the forest boundary explain households' vulnerability to crop-raiding by primates. Preventive actions against crop-raiding by farmers where taken all around the studied area in various forms. Most of the studied households rely on subsistence farming as their main livelihood and therefore crop-raiding by primates is a serious threat to their food security in the area.
  • Moilanen, Atte; Laitila, Jussi; Vaahtoranta, Timo; Dicks, Lynn V.; Sutherland, William J. (2014)
  • Craig, Christie A.; Thomson, Robert L.; Girardello, Marco; Santangeli, Andrea (2019)
    The use of poison by farmers to control livestock predators is a major threat to vulture populations across Eurasia and Africa. While there is now some understanding of poison use on freehold farmland regions in southern Africa, the prevalence and drivers of this practice are still unknown in communal farmlands. We surveyed 353 communal farmers in Namibia to assess the prevalence of reported poison use and intended poison use and the factors associated with both. We used the Randomised Response Technique, a method deemed to yield more robust estimates of the prevalence of sensitive behaviours compared to direct questioning. We found 1.7% of communal farmers admitted to using poison in the last year. Furthermore, across the study region, predicted poison use was the highest (up to 7%) in areas of the upper north-west. The identified hotspots' of poison use will assist conservation practitioners to focus their poison-mitigation efforts centred in the areas of the highest need.
  • Cortes Capano, Gonzalo; Toivonen, Tuuli; Soutullo, Alvaro; Di Minin, Enrico (2019)
    Private land conservation (PLC) is an important means for achieving global conservation targets. We reviewed peer-reviewed literature focussing on PLC to summarize past scientific evidence and to identify research trends and gaps to direct future research. We carried out an in-depth review of 284 scientific articles and analysed where, when and in what context PLC has been studied. Specifically, we (i) assessed where and when PLC studies took place and which topics they covered; (ii) identified the most addressed conservation actions and policy instruments, and (iii) investigated whether stakeholders' engagement during research processes was reported or not. We found that (i) there has been an increase in the number of scientific PLC publications over time; (ii) 78%of the articles in scientific journals focussed on four countries only (United States of America, Australia, South Africa and Canada); (iii) literature content focussed mostly on easements, programs and landowners and showed both geographical and temporal differences; (iv) land/water protection, law and policy and livelihood, economic and other incentives were the most addressed conservation actions; (v) property rights, particularly conservation easements, were the most addressed policy instrument; and (vi) half of the articles did not report the engagement of any stakeholder sector and cross-sector stakeholders' engagement was often missing. Overall, our results highlight the need for future studies on PLC to cover currently underrepresented regions; to assess the effec-tiveness of more conservation actions and policy instruments; and to test how engaging different stakeholders can potentially promote legitimate and equitable PLC policies across contexts.
  • Dudley, Nigel; Jonas, Holly; Nelson, Fred; Parish, Jeffrey; Pyhälä, Aili Adelita; Stolton, Sue; Watson, James (2018)
    Continued biodiversity loss has prompted calls for half of the planet to be set aside for nature - including E. O Wilson's "Half-Earth" approach and the Wild Foundation's "Nature Needs Half" initiative. These efforts have provided a necessary wake-up call and drawn welcome global attention for the urgent need for increased action on conserving biodiversity and nature in general. Yet they have also sparked debate within the conservation community, particularly due to the huge practical and political obstacles to establishing or expanding protected areas on this scale. The new designation of "other effective area-based conservation measures" (OECMs) provides the opportunity for formal recognition of and support for areas delivering conservation outcomes outside the protected area estate. We argue that OECMs are essential to the achievement of big and bold conservation targets such as Half-Earth. But integration of OECMs into the conservation estate requires fundamental changes in protected area planning and how the conservation community deals with human rights and social safeguards issues; it therefore challenges our understanding of what constitutes "conservation". It will only succeed if the key drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss are addressed in the whole planet. A broad, multifaceted and innovative approach, coupled with ambitious targets, provides our best hope yet of addressing complex conservation challenges. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Titeux, Nicolas; Maes, Dirk; Van Daele, Toon; Onkelinx, Thierry; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Romo, Helena; Garcia-Barros, Enrique; Munguira, Miguel L.; Thuiller, Wilfried; van Swaay, Chris A. M.; Schweiger, Oliver; Settele, Josef; Harpke, Alexander; Wiemers, Martin; Brotons, Lluis; Luoto, Miska (2017)
    Aim: Species distribution models built with geographically restricted data often fail to capture the full range of conditions experienced by species across their entire distribution area. Using such models to predict distribution shifts under future environmental change may, therefore, produce biased projections. However, restricted-scale models have the potential to include a larger sample of taxa for which distribution data are available and to provide finer-resolution projections that are better applied to conservation planning than the forecasts of broad-scale models. We examine the circumstances under which the projected shifts in species richness patterns derived from restricted-scale and broad-scale models are most likely to be similar. Location: Europe. Methods: The distribution of butterflies in Finland, Belgium/Netherlands and Spain was modelled based on restricted-scale (local) and broad-scale (continental) distribution and climate data. Both types of models were projected under future climate change scenarios to assess potential changes in species richness. Results: In Finland, species richness was projected to increase strongly based on restricted-scale models and to decrease slightly with broad-scale models. In Belgium/Netherlands, restricted-scale models projected a larger decrease in richness than broad-scale models. In Spain, both models projected a slight decrease in richness. We obtained similar projections based on restricted-scale and broad-scale models only in Spain because the climatic conditions available here covered the warm part of the distributions of butterflies better than in Finland and Belgium/Netherlands. Main conclusions: Restricted-scale models that fail to capture the warm part of species distributions produce biased estimates of future changes in species richness when projected under climatic conditions with no modern analogue in the study area. We recommend the use of distribution data beyond the boundaries of the study area to capture the part of the species response curves reflecting the climatic conditions that will prevail within that area in the future.