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Improving the use of species distribution models in conservation planning and management under climate change


Porfirio, LL and Harris, RM and Lefroy, EC and Hugh, S and Gould, SF and Lee, G and Bindoff, NL and Mackey, B, Improving the use of species distribution models in conservation planning and management under climate change, PLoS ONE, 9, (11) Article e113749. ISSN 1932-6203 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113749


© 2014 Porfirio et al. Choice of variables, climate models and emissions scenarios all influence the results of species distribution models under future climatic conditions. However, an overview of applied studies suggests that the uncertainty associated with these factors is not always appropriately incorporated or even considered. We examine the effects of choice of variables, climate models and emissions scenarios can have on future species distribution models using two endangered species: one a short-lived invertebrate species (Ptunarra Brown Butterfly), and the other a long-lived paleo-endemic tree species (King Billy Pine). We show the range in projected distributions that result from different variable selection, climate models and emissions scenarios. The extent to which results are affected by these choices depends on the characteristics of the species modelled, but they all have the potential to substantially alter conclusions about the impacts of climate change. We discuss implications for conservation planning and management, and provide recommendations to conservation practitioners on variable selection and accommodating uncertainty when using future climate projections in species distribution models.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Species Distribution Models, Conservation Planning, Climate Change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Harris, RM (Dr Rebecca Harris)
UTAS Author:Lefroy, EC (Professor Ted Lefroy)
UTAS Author:Lee, G (Dr Greg Lee)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, NL (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
ID Code:97457
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:191
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-12-17
Last Modified:2022-01-17
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