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A framework for the identification of hotspots of climate change risk for mammals [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : climate change, exposure, extinction risk, hazard, hotspots ; life-history traits, mammals, vulnerability

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

As rates of global warming increase rapidly, identifying species at risk of decline due to climate impacts and the factors affecting this risk have become key challenges in ecology and conservation biology. Here, we present a framework for assessing three components of climate-related risk for species : vulnerability, exposure and hazard. We used the relationship between the observed response of species to climate change and a set of intrinsic traits (e.g. weaning age) and extrinsic factors (e.g. precipitation seasonality within a species geographic range) to predict, respectively, the vulnerability and exposure of all data-sufficient terrestrial non-volant mammals (3,953 species). Combining this information with hazard (the magnitude of projected climate change within a species geographic range), we identified global hotspots of species at risk from climate change that includes the western Amazon basin, south-western Kenya, north-eastern Tanzania, north-eastern South Africa, Yunnan province in China, and mountain chains in Papua-New Guinea. Our framework identifies priority areas for monitoring climate change effects on species and directing climate mitigation actions for biodiversity.

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