Assessing the vulnerability of rare plants using climate change velocity, habitat connectivity and dispersal ability Open Access
- Other title
climate change velocity
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Barber, Quinn E.
- Supervisor and department
Hamann, Andreas (Renewable Resources)
Nielsen, Scott (Renewable Resources)
- Examining committee member and department
Bayne, Erin (iological Sciences)
Department of Renewable Resources
Forest Biology and Management
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Master of Science
- Degree level
Climate change generally requires species to migrate northward or to higher elevation to maintain constant climate conditions, but migration requirement and migration capacity of individual species can vary greatly. Individual populations of species occupy different positions in the landscape that determine their required range shift to maintain similar climate, and likewise the migration capacity depends on habitat connectivity. Here, I demonstrate an approach to quantify species vulnerabilities to climate change for 419 rare vascular plants in Alberta, Canada based on multivariate velocity of climate change, local habitat fragmentation, and migration capacity. Climate change velocities indicated that future migration requirements ranged from 1 to 5 km/yr in topographically complex landscapes, such as the Alberta Foothills and Rocky Mountains. In contrast, migration requirements to maintain constant climate in relatively flat Boreal Plains, Parkland and Grassland ranged from 4 to 8 km/yr. Habitat fragmentation was also highest in these flat regions, particularly the Parkland Natural Region. Of the 419 rare vascular plants assessed, 36 were globally threatened (G1 to G3 ranking). Three of these globally threatened species were ranked as extremely vulnerable and five as highly vulnerable to the interactions among climate change velocity, habitat fragmentation and migration capacity. Incorporating dispersal characteristics and habitat fragmentation with local patterns in climate change velocity represents a streamlined vulnerability assessment approach that may be applied to guide conservation actions, particularly where detailed species-specific data is limited.
- Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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