Projected impacts of climate and land use changes on the habitat of Atlantic Forest plants in Brazil

Tarciso C.C. Leão, Jason R. Reinhardt, Eimear Nic Lughadha, Peter B. Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: To provide novel evidence on the average impact of climate and land use changes on habitat suitability for tropical plants and to test previous conclusions on the relative importance of these two drivers in shaping future availability of habitat for tropical plant species. Location: Brazil’s Atlantic Forest domain. Time period: Plant occurrences recorded between 1960 and 2014. Baseline climate from 1960 to 2000 and land use from 2015. Projected scenarios of climate for 2041–2060 and land use for 2050. Major taxa studied: Angiosperms. Methods: We modelled the habitat suitability of 2,232 species of angiosperms from the Atlantic Forest domain, endemic to Brazil, and estimated how future climate and land use may affect species-level habitat suitability under a moderate and a business-as-usual scenario for the year 2050. Results: Our results suggest that climate change alone will, surprisingly, have only a modest negative impact on the mean habitat suitability, decreasing it by 2% (median = −5 to −7%, variation associated with scenarios). Land use change alone had a more consistent negative impact on habitat suitability, causing mean and median reductions of 4 to 6%. When the effects of climate and land use are combined, the mean habitat suitability was reduced by 4% (median = −9 to −11%). Main conclusions: The combined impacts of climate and land use changes were substantial, although smaller than expected. Habitat suitability decreased for most species, but it increased substantially for some species, suggesting that the distribution of impacts across species is markedly right skewed. The impacts were typically detrimental to small-ranged species and neutral or beneficial to widespread species. Land use change rather than climate change will likely cause more losses to the habitat of Atlantic Forest plant species within the next several decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2016-2028
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 5 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Antoine Guisan and two anonymous referees for their insightful comments that helped to improve this study. In addition, we are grateful to Justin Moat (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) for providing insightful comments and criticism that improved the manuscript. We are also grateful to the Forest Ecology Lab colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Sam Pironon, Barnaby Walker, Ethan Butler, Ranjan Muthukrishnan and Thiago V. dos Santos for valuable discussions on the topic. Tarciso Leão received a Doctoral Fellowship from CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) n. 1145/12‐6, an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Minnesota and support from the Institute on the Environment.

Funding Information:
We thank Antoine Guisan and two anonymous referees for their insightful comments that helped to improve this study. In addition, we are grateful to Justin Moat (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) for providing insightful comments and criticism that improved the manuscript. We are also grateful to the Forest Ecology Lab colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Sam Pironon, Barnaby Walker, Ethan Butler, Ranjan Muthukrishnan and Thiago V. dos Santos for valuable discussions on the topic. Tarciso Le?o received a Doctoral Fellowship from CAPES (Coordena??o de Aperfei?oamento de Pessoal de N?vel Superior) n. 1145/12-6, an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Minnesota and support from the Institute on the Environment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Global Ecology and Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • geographic range size
  • land use change
  • plant conservation
  • species distribution modelling
  • tropical forest

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Projected impacts of climate and land use changes on the habitat of Atlantic Forest plants in Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this