Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology
Ornate Box Turtle is among the species in a study that focused on the predictability of species extinction risks due to climate change. Photograph © Geoffrey A. Hammerson.
Population density of a gekko species in Madagascar, based on climate change projections.
Volcano rabbit metapopulation dynamics under climate change
Climate Change Impacts on BiodiversityWe develop and apply methods that link climate change models, ecological niche (species distribution or habitat suitability) models, and demographic models to predict the extinction risk of species under global climate change.
The development of this coupled niche-population modeling approach was based on our previous work (2003-2005) on metapopulation models with dynamic spatial structure, which were applied to simulate the effects of landscape changes resulting from timber harvest and fires. The first applications of this modeling approach to climate change were developed in a series of workshops in 2007-2009, in Silwood Park, UK; Madrid, Spain; and Adelaide, Australia. One of the goals of these projects is to contribute to the development of Red List Guidelines for identifying species threatened by climate change.
Research papers that proposed, developed, and applied the coupled niche-demographic modeling approach (as well as other methods) are listed and described below.
Most recent papers
H.R., S.H.M. Butchart, J.E.M. Watson, R.G. Pearson. 2014.
species extinctions resulting from climate change. Nature Climate
K.T. Shoemaker, R.G. Pearson, R.G., and H.R. Akçakaya*. 2015.
times for species extinctions due to climate change. Global Change
Biology 21:10661077 DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12721
Pearson, R.G., J.C.
Stanton, K.T. Shoemaker, M.E. Aiello-Lammens, P.J. Ersts, N. Horning, D.A.
Fordham, C.J. Raxworthy, H.Y. Ryu, J. McNees, and H.R. Akçakaya*. 2014.
Life history and spatial traits predict extinction risk due to climate
change. Nature Climate Change 4:217-221
Fordham, D.A., H.R. Akçakaya, B.W. Brook, A.
Rodríguez, P.C. Alves, E. Civantos, M. Triviño, M.J. Watts and
M.B. Araújo. 2013.
conservation measures are required to save the Iberian lynx in a changing
climate. Nature Climate Change 3:899-903.
Pacifi, M., W.B.
Foden, P. Visconti, J.E.M. Watson, S. H.M. Butchart, K.M. Kovacs, B.R.
Scheffers, D.G. Hole, T.G. Martin, H.R. Akçakaya, R.T. Corlett, B.
Huntley, D. Bickford, J.A. Carr, A.A. Hoffmann, G.F. Midgley, P. P. Kelly,
R.G.Pearson, S.E. Williams, S.G. Willis, B. Young, C. Rondinini. 2015.
Assessing species vulnerability to climate change. Nature Climate Change
H.R. Akçakaya, M. Araújo, D. Keith, B.W. Brook. 2013. Tools for
integrating range change, extinction risk and climate change information into
conservation management. Ecography 36:956-964.
Responses of Bird Populations to
Extreme Weather Events: This study focuses on the effect of climate
variability on bird populations and the role of wildlife refuges in supporting
the viability of these populations.
Papers introducing the coupled niche-population modeling approach
H.R., S.H.M. Butchart, G.M. Mace, S.N. Stuart, and C. Hilton-Taylor. 2006. Use
and misuse of the IUCN Red List Criteria in projecting climate change impacts
on biodiversity. Global Change Biology 12:2037-2043.
Keith, D.A, H.R.
Akçakaya, W. Thuiller, G.F. Midgley, R.G. Pearson, S.J. Phillips, H.M.
Regan, M.B. Araújo, T.G. Rebelo. 2008. Predicting extinction risks under
climate change: coupling stochastic population models with dynamic bioclimatic
habitat models. Biology Letters 4:560-563.
Anderson, B., H.R.
Akçakaya, M. Araújo, D. Fordham, E. Martinez-Meyer, W. Thuiller,
B.W. Brook. 2009. Dynamics of range margins for metapopulations under climate
change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276:1415-1420.
Brook, B.W., H.R.
Akçakaya, D.A. Keith, G.M. Mace, R.G. Pearson, and M.B. Araújo.
2009. Integrating bioclimate with population models to improve forecasts of
species extinctions under climate change. Biology Letters 5:723-725.
Applications of the coupled niche-population modeling approachThe following papers applied the coupled niche-population modeling approach to various species impacted by climate change and a variety of conservation questions, and/or made methodological improvements.
Aiello-Lammens, M.E., M.L. Chu-Agor, M. Convertino, R.A. Fischer, I. Linkov, and H.R. Akçakaya. 2011. The impact of sea-level rise on snowy plovers in Florida: integrating geomorphological, habitat, and metapopulation models. Global Change Biology 17:3644-3654. [PDF]
Stanton, J.C., R.G. Pearson, N. Horning, P. Ersts, and H.R. Akçakaya. 2012. Combining static and dynamic variables in species distribution models under climate change. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3: 349-357. [PDF]
Fordham, D.A., C.
Mellin C, B.D.Russell, H.R. Akçakaya, C.J.A. Bradshaw, M.E.
Aiello-Lammens, M.J. Caley, S.D. Connell, S. Mayfield, S.A. Shepherd and
B.W. Brook. 2013. Population dynamics can be more important than physiological
limits for determining range shifts under climate change. Global Change
Harris, J.B.C., D.A. Fordham, P.A. Mooney, L.P. Pedler, M.B. Araújo, D.C. Paton, M.G. Stead, M.J. Watts, H.R. Akçakaya, and B.W. Brook. 2012. Managing the long-term persistence of a rare cockatoo under climate change. Journal of Applied Ecology 49: 785-794. [PDF]
Fordham, D.A., H.R. Akçakaya, M. Araújo, J. Elith, D. Keith, R. Pearson, T.D. Auld, C. Mellin, J.W. Morgan, T.J. Regan, M. Tozer, M.J. Watts, M. White, B. Wintle, C. Yates, and B.W. Brook. 2012. Plant extinction risk under climate change: are forecast range shifts alone a good indicator of species vulnerability to global warming? Global Change Biology 18: 1357-1371. [PDF]
Fordham, D.A., H.R. Akçakaya, M. Araujo and B.W. Brook. 2012. Modelling range shifts for invasive vertebrates in response climate change. Pages 86-108 in: Conserving Wildlife Populations in a Changing Climate, edited by E. Post, D. Doak and J. Brodie. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
Applications by other researchersResearchers in other labs and organizations have been using the coupled niche-population modeling approach detailed in the publications above. Most of these applications are listed in this website: PVA and Modeling Case Studies: Applications of RAMAS to Specific Cases.