Global Impacts of Climate Change and Potentials for Adaptation and Mitigation Through Ecosystem Restoration

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Global Impacts of Climate Change and Potentials for Adaptation and Mitigation Through Ecosystem Restoration

  1. 1. Global impacts of Climate Change and Potentials for Adaptation and Mitigation through Ecosystem Restoration COP15, IUCN Side Event, Copenhagen, 2009 Dr. Camille Parmesan Professor, Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  2. 2. Observed Changes in Wild Plants and Animals >1,700 Species Globally Parmesan & Yohe, Nature 2003 CHANGED AS PREDICTED STABLE OPPOSITE OF PREDICTION 52% changing where they live
  3. 3. Ecological Responses Dominate - Evolution has not Affected Species’ Fundamental Climate Niches Parmesan AREES 2006 Evidence for local, population-level evolution (Micro-evolution) - several ! No evidence for species-level evolution (Macro-evolution): • No evidence for new “super-hot-adapted” mutations • No evidence for any species living in new climate space • No response to artificial selection to tolerate more extreme climatic conditions than found in wild (fruit flies, butterflies) (Hoffmann et al 2003, Crozier 2003 a,b; Jordano et al 2000)
  4. 4. Declines and Range Contractions of Sea Ice-Species in Arctic and Antarctic 2007 NOAA Ringed Arctic Seal 2002-2007 NOAA Ice-dependent penguins declining by 70 - 95% Adelie & Ice-dependent Emperor penguins increasing or penguins smaller declines (<20%) Antarctic Smith et al. Bioscience 1999; Fraser et al. Polar Biol. 1992; Emslie et al. Ant. Science 1998
  5. 5. Mountaintop Species • Many species have contracted upward • First extinctions white golden lemuroid toad possum Costa Rica Australia pika, USA & Nepal Apollo Europe & Nepal Parmesan AREES 2006
  6. 6. Climate Change Drove a Shift in Lands Deserving Highest Conservation Priority E.e. quino - The only existing populations with historic densities are newly discovered sites further east and at higher elevations than historically-recorded distribution (> 4500 ft, yellow circles) Parmesan Nature 1996, USFWS 2009
  7. 7. Problem: Species’ Forced Out of Traditional Homelands & Protected Areas Solutions: • Assisted Colonization • Restoration to create habitat corridors •Creation of new habitats adapted to future climate Impediments: Conservation laws & tools focus on return to historic state Hoegh-guldberg et al. Science 2008
  8. 8. Restoration of Vernal Pool habitats in southern California USFWS, Recon Environmental Inc. Photos courtesy Mark Dodero, Project Manager & Sr Biologist
  9. 9. •Landscape topography molded (shallow depression created • Appropriate soils brought in (build clay lens) • Water storage, filtration & flow altered
  10. 10. YEAR 3 • Self-sustaining • Occasional weeding needed to keep out exotics • Habitat for 5 endangered vernal pool species • Cost: $ 1m/acre
  11. 11. Restoration of Native American Prairie - Help biodiversity adapt - Help mitigate climate change Native bunchgrasses Deep Root system C-storage (by 52%) Water storage Resistance to drought and heat waves Nutritional value Adapted to grazing Only carbon-neutral crop 10 ft Native Franzluebbers 2005, Fargione et al. 2008, Poteet unpubl, Little bluestem
  12. 12. Full Carbon Budget Shows Prairie Carbon-Neutral Conversion of Lands to Biofuel Production Fargione et al. 2008 Science Emission of carbon from soil Loss of carbon above ground Indonesia Brazil USA

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