Navigation Links
Climate change causes high, but predictable, extinction risks
Date:2/26/2014

Judging the effects of climate change on extinction may be easier than previously thought, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Although widely used assessments of threatened species, such as the IUCN Red List, were not developed with the effects of climate change in mind, a study of 36 amphibian and reptile species endemic to the US has concluded that climate change may not be fundamentally different from other extinction threats in terms of identifying species in danger of extinction.

The new study, funded by NASA and led by Richard Pearson of UCL and, formerly, the American Museum of Natural History, and by Resit Akakaya of Stony Brook University in New York, identified factors that predispose species to high extinction risk due to climate change. By looking at pre-existing information on species of salamanders, turtles, tortoises, snakes and lizards, the team hoped to create a blueprint for judging extinction risk in other species around the world.

Dr Richard Pearson (UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research) said: "Surprisingly, we found that most important factors such as having a small range or low population size are already used in conservation assessments. These new results indicate that current systems may be better able to identify species vulnerability to climate change than previously thought."

Through quantitative analysis the team found that across the reptiles and amphibians studied there was a 28% overall chance of extinction by 2100. In contrast, the risk of extinction without climate change was calculated to be less than 1%, suggesting that climate change will cause a dramatic increase in extinction risk for these taxonomic groups over the next century.

Dr Resit Akakaya of Stony Brook University said: "The bad news is that climate change will cause many extinctions unless species-specific conservation actions are taken; but the good news is that the methods conservation organisations have been using to identify which species need the most urgent help also work when climate change is the main threat."

The factors identified in this study as predisposing species to high extinction risk due to climate change suggest that conservation actions should focus on species that occupy a small or declining area, have small population size, or have synchronized population fluctuations. The methodology used in this study offers great potential for adaption to additional taxonomic groups and geographical areas, helping to develop effective measures to conserve biodiversity over the coming century.

Unlike most previous studies, which predicted future extinction risks based only on projected contraction of areas with suitable climate for each species, the present study estimated extinction risk as the probability of the population size falling to zero by the year 2100. To do this, the authors used a new methodology that included modelling demographic processes such as reproduction, survival, and dispersal.

The approach was not designed to make specific predictions for each individual species; instead, the methods allowed the authors to draw conclusions beyond the limited set of species for which data were available. The result is new understanding of the factors that make some species more at risk due to the changing temperature and rainfall patterns that are expected over the coming century.

Dr Pearson added: "Our analysis will hopefully be able to help create better guidelines that account for the effects of climate change in assessing extinction risk."


'/>"/>

Contact: Siobhan Pipa
siobhan.pipa@ucl.ac.uk
44-020-767-99041
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
2. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
3. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
4. Fielding questions about climate change
5. Glacier-fed river systems threatened by climate change
6. Beating famine: Sustainable food security through land regeneration in a changing climate
7. Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
8. Why spring is blooming marvelous (and climate change makes it earlier)
9. Carnegies Greg Asner named Energy/Climate Fellow by US State Department
10. Declines in Caribbean coral reefs pre-date damage resulting from climate change
11. Some corals like it hot: Heat stress may help coral reefs survive climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 1, 2017  Central to its ... meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today ... who have pushed the envelope in their respective ... Communication. Three scientists are being recognized with the ... that not only contribute to the advancement of ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, ... for the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced ... antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) ... of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The ... Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... -- Crossmatch, a leading provider of security and identity management ... fraud, waste and abuse in assistance operations around the ... Disaster Relief conference in Panama City ... foreign assistance organizations throughout Latin America ... largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign assistance and disaster ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... February 16, 2017 Patient ... of innovative telemedicine application, new and leading edge ... experiencing a boom worldwide. The healthcare sector as ... technologies, services and new therapies for companies such ... RHT), Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRB ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. ... focusing on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for ... preclinical influenza study showed that aerosolized KL4 surfactant ... a well-established preclinical animal model. The Company believes ... body of evidence that supports the role of ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... , ... February 15, 2017 , ... Park Systems ... SmartScan, a powerful AFM operating software that drastically boosts productivity with single click reliable ... all of the functions of setting up and taking the image once done manually ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: WINT ... surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, will host a conference ... AM EST on Thursday, February 16, 2017 to provide ... recently announced closing of a $10.5 million private offering ... participate in the live call and take part in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: