Freshwater biodiversity under climate warming pressure : identifying the winners and losers in temperate standing waterbodies

Rosset, Véronique (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Oertli, Beat (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Climate warming is affecting the biodiversity all around the world, resulting in the expansion or contraction of the geographical range of species, and leading to colonisation (winners) and extinction (losers) events in ecosystems. It is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity to identify these potential winners and losers. We focus here on small standing waterbodies in Switzerland and on five taxonomic groups: vascular plants, snails, beetles, dragonflies and amphibians. We first assessed the sensitivity of each species to climate warming through their thermal preferences, using current altitudinal and latitudinal distribution, as a surrogate for temperature. We then evaluated the resilience of species to perturbations through five ecological and biogeographical criteria applicable to the perturbation “warming”: dispersal ability, degree of habitat specialisation, geographical extent in the study area, future trend in geographical extent, and future trend of habitat availability for species. Potential winners and losers of a warming climate could be quantified through their thermal preferences. The proportion of potential losers ranged from zero species for snails to 33% of the regional species pool for dragonflies. The set of potential winners was much larger, ranging from 53% for amphibians to 61% for dragonflies. A multimetric index combining the five resilience criteria enabled the further prioritisation of the species along a gradient of extinction risk. This potential threat from climate warming is not reflected by the current Red Lists of dragonflies and amphibians, suggesting that conservation management could gain from a complementary label indicating the degree of sensitivity to warming.

Article Type:
Ingénierie et Architecture
HEPIA - Genève
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
9 p.
Published in:
Biological Conservation
Numeration (vol. no.):
2011, vol. 144, pp. 2311-2319
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted

 Record created 2020-08-14, last modified 2020-10-27

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)