Feb 8, 2008

Climate change, elevational range shifts, and bird extinctions

Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Cagan H SekerciogluScott R Loarie

Abstract

Limitations imposed on species ranges by the climatic, ecological, and physiological effects of elevation are important determinants of extinction risk. We modeled the effects of elevational limits on the extinction risk of landbirds, 87% of all bird species. Elevational limitation of range size explained 97% of the variation in the probability of being in a World Conservation Union category of extinction risk. Our model that combined elevational ranges, four Millennium Assessment habitat-loss scenarios, and an intermediate estimate of surface warming of 2.8 degrees C, projected a best guess of 400-550 landbird extinctions, and that approximately 2150 additional species would be at risk of extinction by 2100. For Western Hemisphere landbirds, intermediate extinction estimates based on climate-induced changes in actual distributions ranged from 1.3% (1.1 degrees C warming) to 30.0% (6.4 degrees C warming) of these species. Worldwide, every degree of warming projected a nonlinear increase in bird extinctions of about 100-500 species. Only 21% of the species predicted to become extinct in our scenarios are currently considered threatened with extinction. Different habitat-loss and surface-warming scenarios predicted substantially ...Continue Reading

  • References19
  • Citations78

References

  • References19
  • Citations78

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Extinction, Species
Greenhouse Effect
Aves
Altitude
Population Spatial Distribution
Habitat
Physiological Effects [PE]

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