A process to support species conservation planning and climate change readiness in protected areas
Nicole F. Angeli, Javier Otegui, Margot Wood, Emma P. Gomez-Ruiz
Global change will causes species range shifts, affecting species interactions. The conservation implications of species range shifts are widely unknown. Through forming an ecology-bioinformatics partnership at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center-Encyclopedia of Life-Biodiversity Heritage Library Research Sprint, we developed an analytical pipeline to test whether global trends are forcing shifts of mutually dependent species in different spatial directions. We calculated potential
... p between dependent species across climate scenarios within protected areas. We selected the Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) and its nesting host tree the Giant Almendro (Dipteryx panamensis) as a proof-of-concept species pair that will be affected by range shifts. We demonstrate with modeling that the Great Green Macaw will lose approximately 64.0% of suitable habitat in future scenarios, while the Giant Almendro will lose 59.7% of suitable habitat. Species habitat overlaps across 85.3 % of its currently predicted distribution and 69.07% of the remaining habitat predicted in future scenarios. After accounting for spatially explicit protected areas networks, only 20.3% and 40.2 % of remaining habitat persists within protected areas across climate scenarios for the Almendro and Macaw, respectively, and 19.9 % of that habitat overlaps between the species. Currently, we are conducting a literature review to select and expand our list of species for use in the pipeline to detect trends for climate readiness planning in protected areas networks. The analytical pipeline will produce habitat suitability maps for multiple climate scenarios based on current distributions, and these maps will potentially be embedded into the Encyclopedia of Life as free, downloadable files. This is just one of several broader impact products from the research. This work demonstrates that modeling the future distribution of species is limited by biotic interactions and conservation planning should account for climate change scenarios.