The resilience of plant and bird communities under climate change scenarios in the Dutch landscape
09 / 2011 - onbekend
Awareness is growing that nature management policy is not climate-proof. Ongoing global warming and increasing weather extremes jeopardize wild species, on top of challenges by habitat fragmentation and land use change. However, the toolbox currently available to conservationists is based on metapopulation theory, incapable of handling the increasing fluctuations imposed by climate extremes. In this proposal we use stochastic population models for plant and bird species and apply recently developed tools to trace back effects of climate variation to underlying changes in life history characteristics (survival, growth reproduction) of the species. Spatial extensions of these models enable analyses of interacting effects of climate change and habitat fragmentation. It is now possible to apply these models because long-term demographic data and extensive trait databases of plant and bird species have recently become available. Comparing several dozens of plant and bird species for which long-term data are available, our models will relate climate induced extinction risks in the Dutch landscape to the life history characteristics and traits of the species. These simulations will give general insight into causes of species vulnerability. The relationships that appear will allow us to extrapolate the vulnerabilities to a wider range of plant and bird species for which no long-term demographic data are available. The results of the models will be translated to new management directives in close collaboration with conservation NGO?s responsible for the monitoring and the interpretation of trends in species abundance and for updating the Red List of endangered species.