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Forecasting effects of global warming on Biodiversity

Botkin, D.B., Saxe, H., Araújo, M.B., Betts, R., Bradshaw, R., Cedhagen, T., Chesson, P., Davis, M.B., Dawson, T.P., Etterson, J., Faith, D.P., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Skjoldborg, A., Hansen, D.H., Kareiva, P., Loehle, M.C., New, M., Skov, F., Sobel, M.J., Stockwell, D. and Svenning, J-C. (2007) Forecasting effects of global warming on Biodiversity BioScience, 57, (3), pp. 227-236. (doi:10.1641/B570306).

Record type: Article


The demand for accurate forecasting of the effects of global warming on biodiversity is growing, but current methods for forecasting have limitations. In this article, we compare and discuss the different uses of four forecasting methods: (1) models that consider species individually, (2) niche-theory models that group species by habitat (more specifically, by environmental conditions under which a species can persist or does persist), (3) general circulation models and coupled ocean–atmosphere–biosphere models, and (4) species–area curve models that consider all species or large aggregates of species. After outlining the different uses and limitations of these methods, we make eight primary suggestions for improving forecasts.We find that greater use of the fossil record and of modern genetic studies would improve forecasting methods.We note a Quaternary conundrum: While current empirical and theoretical ecological results suggest that many species could be at risk from global warming, during the recent ice ages surprisingly few species became extinct. The potential resolution of this conundrum gives insights into the requirements for more accurate and reliable forecasting. Our eight suggestions also point to constructive synergies in the solution to the different problems.

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Published date: March 2007
Keywords: biodiversity, forecasting, global warming, modeling, Quaternary conundrum


Local EPrints ID: 58440
ISSN: 0006-3568
PURE UUID: d2a228ad-ae43-4d98-b3a8-0ed2bcc330aa

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Date deposited: 14 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:26

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Author: D.B. Botkin
Author: H. Saxe
Author: M.B. Araújo
Author: R. Betts
Author: R. Bradshaw
Author: T. Cedhagen
Author: P. Chesson
Author: M.B. Davis
Author: T.P. Dawson
Author: J. Etterson
Author: D.P. Faith
Author: S. Ferrier
Author: A. Guisan
Author: A. Skjoldborg
Author: D.H. Hansen
Author: P. Kareiva
Author: M.C. Loehle
Author: M. New
Author: F. Skov
Author: M.J. Sobel
Author: D. Stockwell
Author: J-C. Svenning

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