Strengthening the link between climate, hydrological and species distribution modeling to assess the impacts of climate change on freshwater biodiversity
Tisseuil, C., Vrac, M., Grenouillet, G., Wade, A. J., Gevrey, M., Oberdorff, T., Grodwohl, J.-B. and Lek, S. (2012) Strengthening the link between climate, hydrological and species distribution modeling to assess the impacts of climate change on freshwater biodiversity. Science of the Total Environment, 424. pp. 193-201. ISSN 0048-9697
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.035
To understand the resilience of aquatic ecosystems to environmental change, it is important to determine how multiple, related environmental factors, such as near-surface air temperature and river flow, will change during the next century. This study develops a novel methodology that combines statistical downscaling and fish species distribution modeling, to enhance the understanding of how global climate changes (modeled by global climate models at coarse-resolution) may affect local riverine fish diversity. The novelty of this work is the downscaling framework developed to provide suitable future projections of fish habitat descriptors, focusing particularly on the hydrology which has been rarely considered in previous studies. The proposed modeling framework was developed and tested in a major European system, the Adour-Garonne river basin (SW France, 116,000 km(2)), which covers distinct hydrological and thermal regions from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic coast. The simulations suggest that, by 2100, the mean annual stream flow is projected to decrease by approximately 15% and temperature to increase by approximately 1.2 °C, on average. As consequence, the majority of cool- and warm-water fish species is projected to expand their geographical range within the basin while the few cold-water species will experience a reduction in their distribution. The limitations and potential benefits of the proposed modeling approach are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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