Assessing species vulnerability to climate and land use change: the case of the Swiss breeding birds

Maggini, Ramona, Lehmann, Anthony, Zbinden, Niklaus, Zimmermann, Niklaus E., Bolliger, Janine, Schröder, Boris, Foppen, Ruud, Schmid, Hans, Beniston, Martin and Jenni, Lukas (2014) Assessing species vulnerability to climate and land use change: the case of the Swiss breeding birds. Diversity And Distributions, 20 6: 708-719. doi:10.1111/ddi.12207

Author Maggini, Ramona
Lehmann, Anthony
Zbinden, Niklaus
Zimmermann, Niklaus E.
Bolliger, Janine
Schröder, Boris
Foppen, Ruud
Schmid, Hans
Beniston, Martin
Jenni, Lukas
Title Assessing species vulnerability to climate and land use change: the case of the Swiss breeding birds
Journal name Diversity And Distributions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1366-9516
Publication date 2014-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12207
Open Access Status
Volume 20
Issue 6
Start page 708
End page 719
Total pages 12
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim: Climate warming and land use change represent a major challenge for both species and conservation managers. Temporally and spatially explicit projections of the future distribution of species have been extensively developed to support decision-making in conservation. The aim of this study was to move beyond the simple projections of likely impacts of global change to identify the most vulnerable species. We suggest an original vulnerability index that integrates estimations of projected range change and different proxies of species resilience in a quantitative way. The proposed index is generally applicable, completely quantitative, and it allows ranking species so as to prioritize conservation actions.

Location: We illustrate the applicability of the vulnerability index using breeding birds in Switzerland as an example of conservation target.

Methods: The vulnerability index relies on five indicators quantifying different aspects of the projected change in distributional area, the reservoirs available for the species and their recent population trend. Species distribution was modelled using three different techniques (GAM, MARS and BRT) and then projected for 2050 and 2100 according to two different IPCC scenarios of climate change coupled with two regional land use scenarios to represent different magnitudes of the stressors and the range of possible outcomes.

Results: According to the different contributions of the base indicators, different patterns of vulnerability can be distinguished. In Switzerland, breeding birds inhabiting coniferous woodlands, alpine habitats and wetlands have significantly higher vulnerability to climate and land use change than species in other habitats.

Main conclusions: The proposed vulnerability index represents an early warning system as it identifies species that are currently not threatened, but are very likely to become so. As such, it complements the assessment of risk of species' extinction based on the Red List and on their international importance.
Keyword Breeding Birds
Climate and land use change
Conservation priorities
Early Warning System
Vulnerability index
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 16 May 2014, 14:23:06 EST by Ramona Maggini on behalf of School of Biological Sciences