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Title

Microclimatic challenges in global change biology

Publication Year

2013

Author(s)
  • Potter, Kristen A.
  • Woods, H. Arthur
  • Pincebourde, Sylvain
Source
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Volume: 19 Issue: 10 Pages: 2932-2939 Published: 2013
ISSN
1354-1013 eISSN: 1365-2486
Abstract

Despite decades of work on climate change biology, the scientific community remains uncertain about where and when most species distributions will respond to altered climates. A major barrier is the spatial mismatch between the size of organisms and the scale at which climate data are collected and modeled. Using a meta-analysis of published literature, we show that grid lengths in species distribution models are, on average, ca. 10000-fold larger than the animals they study, and ca. 1000-fold larger than the plants they study. And the gap is even worse than these ratios indicate, as most work has focused on organisms that are significantly biased toward large size. This mismatch is problematic because organisms do not experience climate on coarse scales. Rather, they live in microclimates, which can be highly heterogeneous and strongly divergent from surrounding macroclimates. Bridging the spatial gap should be a high priority for research and will require gathering climate data at finer scales, developing better methods for downscaling environmental data to microclimates, and improving our statistical understanding of variation at finer scales. Interdisciplinary collaborations (including ecologists, engineers, climatologists, meteorologists, statisticians, and geographers) will be key to bridging the gap, and ultimately to providing scientifically grounded data and recommendations to conservation biologists and policy makers.

Author Keyword(s)
  • body size
  • climate change
  • downscaling
  • fractals
  • grid size
  • maxent
  • refugia
  • spatial resolution
  • species distribution models
  • temperature
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELS
  • RECENT CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • BODY-TEMPERATURE
  • TERRESTRIAL ECTOTHERMS
  • OPERATIVE TEMPERATURES
  • FRACTAL ANALYSIS
  • FINE-SCALE
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • LANDSCAPES
  • RESPONSES
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Environment/Ecology
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences
Adress(es)

[Potter, Kristen A.; Woods, H. Arthur] Univ Montana, Div Biol Sci, Missoula, MT 59812 USA; [Potter, Kristen A.] Univ Arizona, Sch Forestry, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 USA; [Pincebourde, Sylvain] Univ Tours, IRBI, CNRS, Fac Sci & Tech,UMR 7261, F-37200 Tours, France

Reprint Adress

Potter, KA (reprint author), No Arizona Univ, 200 East Pine Knoll Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 USA.

Country(ies)
  • France
  • United States
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Institut de recherche sur la biologie de l'insecte (IRBI), UMR7261
Accession Number
WOS:000323844200002
uid:/1P12VNVT
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