Characteristics of climate change refugia for Australian biodiversity
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Identifying refugia is a critical component of effective conservation of biodiversity under anthropogenic climate change. However, despite a surge in conceptual and practical interest, identifying refugia remains a significant challenge across diverse continental landscapes. We provide an overview of the key properties of refugia that promote species' persistence under climate change, including their capacity to (i) buffer species from climate change; (ii) sustain long-term population viability and evolutionary processes; (iii) minimize the potential for deleterious species interactions, provided that the refugia are (iv) available and accessible to species under threat. Further, we classify refugia in terms of the environmental and biotic stressors that they provide protection from (i.e. thermal, hydric, cyclonic, pyric and biotic refugia), but ideally refugia should provide protection from a multitude of stressors. Our systematic characterization of refugia facilitates the identification of refugia in the Australian landscape. Challenges remain, however, specifically with respect to how to assess the quality of refugia at the level of individual species and whole species assemblages. It is essential that these challenges are overcome before refugia can live up to their acclaim as useful targets for conservation and management in the context of climate change.
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Keppel, Gunnar; Van Niel, K.; Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Yates, C.; Byrne, M.; Mucina, Ladislav; Schut, Antonius; Hopper, S.; Franklin, S. (2011)Identifying and protecting refugia is a priority for conservation under projected anthropogenic climate change, because of their demonstrated ability to facilitate the survival of biota under adverse conditions. Refugia ...
Environmental niche modelling fails to predict Last Glacial Maximum refugia: Niche shifts, microrefugia or incorrect palaeoclimate estimates?Worth, J.; Williamson, G.; Sakaguchi, S.; Nevill, Paul; Jordan, G. (2014)Aim: Many predictions of responses to future climate change utilize ecological niche models (ENMs). We assess the capacity of these models to predict species distributions under conditions that differ from the current ...
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