Importance of historical records in understanding species responses to climate change - examples on United Kingdom and Germany

Authors: Sasha Kosanic*, Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstrasse 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany, , Karen Anderson, University of Exeter, Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn Campus, Penryn, United Kingdom, Stephan Harrison, University of Exeter, Centre for Geography Environment and Society, Penryn Campus, Penryn, United Kingdom, Thea Turkington, Centre for Climate Research Singapore, Meteorological Services Singapore, Singapore, Singapore, Jonathan Bennie, University of Exeter, Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn Campus, Penryn, United Kingdom, Iva Kavcic, Met Office, Fitz Roy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK, Mark van Kleunen, Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany; Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Taizhou University, Taizhou, China
Topics: Anthropocene, Climatology and Meteorology, Biogeography
Keywords: Climate change, climate change velocity, historical records, Ellenberg and climatic variables, biodiversity
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Climate change will become more pronounced in the coming decades and the impact on biodiversity will be unprecedented. There are several ways in which species can respond to climate change: adapt, move in different directions in order to track suitable climates, (i.e. towards higher latitudes and elevations, or to the east and west) and go extinct locally, regionally, or, in a worst case scenario, globally. To minimise the impact and protect ecosystem services and human well-being, we need to provide accurate predictions of how biodiversity will respond to this change. To do this, we need to better understand past biological changes and their response to anthropogenic climate change at the local and regional scales. The main obstacle to this is the lack of fine-scale and long-term (more than 50 years) multiple historical records, such as weather or biodiversity records. Without historical weather records and biodiversity records, we will not be able to fully understand species individualistic sensitivity to the climate variability and velocity. Hence here we present methods: a) to manually georeferenced herbarium collection, b) to use Ellenberg and climatic variables to detect plant species sensitivity to climate variability, and c) to use fine scale instrumental records in order to detect recent climate change and climate velocity. Analysis of multiple historical records and developing novel methods to better understand species sensitivity to the climate are necessary to link biodiversity changes to human-based disturbances in ecosystems. This work leads to more accurate projection models and conservation strategies.

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