[MARMAM] New paper on climate change and cetaceans

Lambert, Emily emily.lambert at abdn.ac.uk
Fri Dec 2 05:56:04 PST 2011

I'm pleased to announce the publication of the following paper on climate change and cetaceans:

Lambert et al. 2011. Quantifying likely cetacean range shifts in response to global climatic change: implications for conservation strategies in a changing world

ABSTRACT: As with many other taxa, climate change is expected to result in geographic range
shifts of cetacean species as they track changes in temperature to remain within their ecological
niches. Such changes in geographic range could have implications for the conservation and management
of cetaceans. Here, we propose a bioclimatic envelope modelling approach for providing
quantitative predictions of how the ranges of cetacean species may respond to changing water
temperatures. This combines predictions from habitat niche and ‘thermal’ niche models for an
individual species to determine probable geographic range under specific climatic conditions.
However, if this approach is to be used to inform conservation strategies, it is essential that the
ability to predict responses to environmental change is validated beyond the period of data collection
used to construct the models. Therefore, in addition to validation of modelled current range,
we included a step to validate the models’ ability to predict previous changes in range over time
in response to climatic changes using independent data. We demonstrate this approach using
common dolphin Delphinus delphis data from the Northeast Atlantic. The combined model was
constructed with data collected between 1980 and 2007, and validated using independent distributional
records collected between 1930 and 2006. The validated model was then applied to predict
future range between 2010 and 2069, based on projected water temperatures. Thus, the modelling
approach is shown to provide the type of information required to help ensure that conservation
and management strategies remain effective in the face of a changing climate.

A PDF of this paper can be downloaded either from the Endangered Species Research website (http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v15/n3/p205-222/ ) or  from http://www.gisinecology.com/_files/PDFs%20of%20Case%20Studies/Lambert_et_al_2011.pdf


Emily Lambert

The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
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