Immigrants and refugees: The importance of dispersal in mediating biotic attrition under climate change

Anderson, Alex S., Reside, April E., Vanderwal, Jeremy J., Shoo, Luke P., Pearson, Richard G. and Williams, Stephen E. (2012) Immigrants and refugees: The importance of dispersal in mediating biotic attrition under climate change. Global Change Biology, 18 7: 2126-2134. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02683.x

Author Anderson, Alex S.
Reside, April E.
Vanderwal, Jeremy J.
Shoo, Luke P.
Pearson, Richard G.
Williams, Stephen E.
Title Immigrants and refugees: The importance of dispersal in mediating biotic attrition under climate change
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1354-1013
Publication date 2012-07
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02683.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 18
Issue 7
Start page 2126
End page 2134
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Montane tropical rainforests are critically important areas for global bird diversity, but are projected to be highly vulnerable to contemporary climate change. Upslope shifts of lowland species may partially offset declines in upland species but also result in a process of lowland biotic attrition. This latter process is contingent on the absence of species adapted to novel warm climates, and isolation from pools of potential colonizers. In the Australian Wet Tropics, species distribution modelling has forecast critical declines in suitable environmental area for upland endemic birds, raising the question of the future role of both natural and assisted dispersal in species survival, but information is lacking for important neighbouring rainforest regions. Here we use expanded geographic coverage of data to model the realized distributions of 120 bird species found in north-eastern Australian rainforest, including species from potential source locations in the north and recipient locations in the south. We reaffirm previous conclusions as to the high vulnerability of this fauna to global warming, and extend the list of species whose suitable environmental area is projected to decrease. However, we find that expansion of suitable area for some species currently restricted to northern rainforests has the potential to offset biotic attrition in lowland forest of the Australian Wet Tropics. By examining contrasting dispersal scenarios, we show that responses to climate change in this region may critically depend on dispersal limitation, as climate change shifts the suitable environmental envelopes of many species south into currently unsuitable habitats. For lowland and northern species, future change in vegetation connectivity across contemporary habitat barriers is likely to be an important mediator of climate change impacts. In contrast, upland species are projected to become increasingly isolated and restricted. Their survival is likely to be more dependent on the viability of assisted migration, and the emergence and persistence of suitable environments at recipient locations.
Keyword Climate change
Global warming
Montane tropics
Range shift
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 18 April 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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