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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Still, Shannon M. [1].

Measuring distribution change and vulnerability of rare plants in response to climate change: a case study using species of the western United States.

The effect of climate change on species distributions is an area of study that has seen rapid growth in the past decade. The use of species distribution modeling (SDM) methods has increased dramatically due to their relative ease of use, rapid results, and relatively small amount of species-specific information necessary to run a model. These models may then be used to aid in conservation planning for now and the future.
The goal of the study is to examine the potential changes in species' geographic distributions under different climate change scenarios for over 400 rare plant species from the western United States. The species being studied, representing a broad range of habitat types and taxonomic diversity, consist of both federally listed and state protected plants. In addition to SDMs, other metrics for assessing vulnerability, such as the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index, will be discussed as they relate to the SDM results. This presentation will focus on comparing different methods of assessing vulnerability for these rare species between today and the end of the century.
The predicted range shift of rare plant in the western US, both geographic direction and area, is not uniform across the species examined. Additionally, the predicted vulnerability to climate change cannot be inferred by the size of the geographic range or size of populations. A portion of the species are expected to gain suitable habitat, however, the large majority of the species are predicted to lose suitable habitat. And by any metric, the majority of species are predicted to be highly vulnerable to suitable habitat loss in their current range. These results have broad impacts for plant biodiversity and rare species management.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Conservation, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, USA

species distribution modeling
rare plants
Climate Change Vulnerability Index
Climate Change.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 32
Location: Marlborough B/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 32001
Abstract ID:934
Candidate for Awards:None

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