New biological models are incorporating the realistic processes underlying biological responses to climate change and other human-caused disturbances. However, these more realistic models require detailed information, which is lacking for most species on Earth. Current monitoring efforts mainly document changes in biodiversity, rather than collecting the mechanistic data needed to predict future changes. We describe and prioritize the biological information needed to inform more realistic projections of species' responses to climate change. We also highlight how trait-based approaches and adaptive modeling can leverage sparse data to make broader predictions. We outline a global effort to collect the data necessary to better understand, anticipate, and reduce the damaging effects of climate change on biodiversity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper originates from the "Ecological Interactions and Range Evolution Under Environmental Change" and "RangeShifter" working groups, supported by the Synthesis Centre of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (DFG-FZT-118), DIVERSITAS, and its core projects bioDISCOVERY and bioGENESIS. Supported by the Canada Research Chair, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (A.G.); the University of Florida Foundation (R.D.H.); KU Leuven Research Fund grant PF/2010/07, ERA-Net BiodivERsA TIPPINGPOND, and Belspo IAP SPEEDY (L.D.M.); European Union Biodiversity Observation Network grant EU-BON-FP7-308454 (J.-B.M. and G.P.); KU Leuven Research Fund (J.P.); and NSF grants DEB-1119877 and PLR-1417754 and the McDonnell Foundation (M.C.U.).