Increasing protected area coverage mitigates climate-driven community changes

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Lehikoinen , P , Tiusanen , M , Santangeli , A , Rajasärkkä , A , Jaatinen , K , Valkama , J , Virkkala , R & Lehikoinen , A 2021 , ' Increasing protected area coverage mitigates climate-driven community changes ' , Biological Conservation , vol. 253 , 108892 .

Title: Increasing protected area coverage mitigates climate-driven community changes
Author: Lehikoinen, Petteri; Tiusanen, Maria; Santangeli, Andrea; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Jaatinen, Kim; Valkama, Jari; Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Zoology
University of Helsinki, Zoology
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2021-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Biological Conservation
ISSN: 0006-3207
Abstract: Climate change has ubiquitous impacts on ecosystems and threatens biodiversity globally. One of the most recognized impacts are redistributions of species, a process which can be hindered by habitat degradation. Protected areas (PAs) have been shown to be beneficial for preserving and reallocating species occurrences under climate change. Yet, studies investigating effects of PA networks on species' range shifts under climate change remain scarce. In theory, a well-connected network of PAs should promote population persistence under climate change and habitat degradation. To study this, we evaluated the effects of PA coverage on avian communities in Finland between two study periods of 1980-1999 and 2000-2015. Climate-driven community impacts were investigated by using community temperature index (CTI). We used linear models to study the association of PA coverage and the CTI changes in southern, central and northern Finland. In northern and central Finland, higher PA coverage was associated with lower changes in CTI and 45% PA coverage in northern and 13% in central Finland corresponded with complete mitigation of CTI increase. These results indicate that higher PA coverage strongly increases community resilience to warming climate. However a similar association between PA coverage and changes in CTI was not apparent in southern Finland. The PA coverage in southern Finland was much lower than in the two other sections and thus, may be too sparse to favour community resilience against climate change. The results provide empirical evidence for the international need to rapidly expand PA networks and halt biodiversity loss.
Bird species
Conservation biology
Habitat management
Land use
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

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