Planning for climate change: Identifying minimum-dispersal corridors for the Cape proteaceae

TitlePlanning for climate change: Identifying minimum-dispersal corridors for the Cape proteaceae
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWilliams, P, Hannah, L, Andelman, S, Midgley, G, Araujo, M, Hughes, G, Manne, L, Martinez-Meyer, E, Pearson, R
JournalConservation Biology
Date Published2005
Keywordsarea-selection algorithms, bioclimatic modeling, biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, connectivity, Conservation, distance, distribution models, distributions, floristic region, habitat suitability, plant migration, Protected areas, reserve selection algorithms, south-africa, species persistence

Climate change poses a challenge to the conventional approach to biodiversity conservation, which relies on fixed protected areas, because the changing climate is expected to shift the distribution of suitable areas for many species. Some species will persist only if they can colonize new areas, although in some cases their dispersal abilities may be very limited. To address this problem we devised a quantitative method for identifying multiple corridors of connectivity through shifting habitat suitabilities that seeks to minimize dispersal demands first and then the area of land required. We applied the method to Proteaceae mapped on a 1-minute grid for the western part of the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa, to supplement the existing protected areas using Worldmap software. Our goal was to represent each species in at least 35 grid cells (approximately 100 km(2)) at all times between 2000 and 2050 despite climate change. Although it was possible to achieve the goal at reasonable cost, caution will be needed in applying our method to reserves or other conservation investments until there is further information to support or refine the climate-change models and the species' habitat-suitability and dispersal models.

URL<Go to ISI>://000231118600013
Short TitleConserv Biol Conserv Biol