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Assessing species vulnerability to climate change.

Pacifici, M. and Foden, W.B. and Visconti, P. and Watson, J.E.M. and Butchart, S.H.M. and Kovacs, K.M. and Scheffers, B.R. and Hole, D.G. and Martin, T.G. and Akçakaya, H.R. and Corlett, R.T. and Huntley, B. and Bickford, D. and Carr, J.A. and Hoffmann, A.A. and Midgley, G.F. and Pearce-Kelly, P. and Pearson, R.G. and Williams, S.E. and Willis, S.G. and Young, B. and Rondinini, C. (2015) 'Assessing species vulnerability to climate change.', Nature climate change., 5 . pp. 215-225.


The effects of climate change on biodiversity are increasingly well documented, and many methods have been developed to assess species' vulnerability to climatic changes, both ongoing and projected in the coming decades. To minimize global biodiversity losses, conservationists need to identify those species that are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In this Review, we summarize different currencies used for assessing species' climate change vulnerability. We describe three main approaches used to derive these currencies (correlative, mechanistic and trait-based), and their associated data requirements, spatial and temporal scales of application and modelling methods. We identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches and highlight the sources of uncertainty inherent in each method that limit projection reliability. Finally, we provide guidance for conservation practitioners in selecting the most appropriate approach(es) for their planning needs and highlight priority areas for further assessments.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:18 March 2015
Date of first online publication:March 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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