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Title: Climate change and conservation of Japanese flora : the potential impacts and the effects on protected areas
Author: Onishi, Yuko Ogawa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 3260
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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Japan is a globally important region for biodiversity conservation and the scientific study of plant species. This thesis aims to assess the potential impacts of climate change on Japanese flora and to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas for conservation. State-of-the-art statistical modelling techniques were employed and the modelling framework was designed to achieve projections with the highest accuracy. Five alternative modelling techniques were compared, the important variables were examined, and the effects of using different types of species data were investigated. Accordingly, a modelling framework based on a model, ensemble approach with four climatic variables was developed. The potential impacts of climate change on conifers were assessed using high resolution locality data and those on endemic flora were assessed using atlas data with fewer omission errors and sampling biases. Most Japanese species showed strong upward shifts and range reductions in response to climate change. The results indicated a considerable risk to high altitude species as they were projected to face local extinctions on many mountains. In addition, the areas of high endemic diversity were markedly reduced in the future. On the other hand, the effectiveness of protected areas was projected to improve due to large proportions of protected areas located at high altitudes. Potential climatic refugia and regional hotspots of endemic diversity were identified as important areas for conservation. Almost half of the areas with a high endemic diversity were found to be unprotected, suggesting the need for urgent actions to extend protected areas. Practical recommendations on other conservation measures, such as assisted migration, are provided in the context of national conservation planning. In a broader context, this thesis presents a regional-specific nature of climate change impacts which suggests that further research in less studied regions should be encouraged in order to deepen our understanding of the global impacts of climate change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available