Improving assessment and modelling of climate change impacts on global terrestrial biodiversity

Sean M. McMahon*, Sandy P. Harrison, W. Scott Armbruster, Patrick J. Bartlein, Colin M. Beale, Mary E. Edwards, Jens Kattge, Guy Midgley, Xavier Morin, I. Colin Prentice

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding how species and ecosystems respond to climate change has become a major focus of ecology and conservation biology. Modelling approaches provide important tools for making future projections, but current models of the climate-biosphere interface remain overly simplistic, undermining the credibility of projections. We identify five ways in which substantial advances could be made in the next few years: (i) improving the accessibility and efficiency of biodiversity monitoring data, (ii) quantifying the main determinants of the sensitivity of species to climate change, (iii) incorporating community dynamics into projections of biodiversity responses, (iv) accounting for the influence of evolutionary processes on the response of species to climate change, and (v) improving the biophysical rule sets that define functional groupings of species in global models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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