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Title: The spatial dynamics of biogeographic range shifts under climate change
Author: Mustin, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 6452
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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There is currently widespread concern about the impact of continuing climate change on the distribution, and ultimately persistence of species across all the major taxa. While much previous work has focussed on using climate envelope models to make projections of the location of potential future suitable climate space for a variety of species, these can at best give an indication of the likely direction and potential magnitude of distributional change. They lack information on spatial population dynamics, dispersal, habitat suitability, local adaptation and inter-specific interactions. The aim of this thesis was to explore how some of these other factors might alter projections regarding species’ distributional change in response to climate change, using both theoretical models, and garden warbler (Sylvia borin) as a model system. A key aspect which has been largely over-looked until very recently is the complex range dynamics which can result from spatial variation in population dynamics, and the impacts of inter-annual variability rather than simply mean climate, both of which can impact extinction risk. Much insight into future impacts of climate change can also be gained through studies of past distributional changes, such as that observed in the British breeding population of garden warbler in the last three decades. In many cases, studies at smaller-scales are necessary to elucidate the mechanisms of climate change impacts and further explore potential synergies with other drivers of ecosystem change such as habitat loss and species invasions. The particular combination of factors which should be included to make projections of distributional change will be species-specific and scale-dependent, therefore modelling exercises should be carefully designed depending on the intended outcome for conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Climate change ; Animal migration ; Wildlife conservation ; Nature conservation