Disappearing climates will limit the efficacy of Amazonian protected areas

Kenneth Feeley, Miles R. Silman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amazonian forests support high biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services. Unfortunately, these forests are under extreme pressure from land use change and other anthropogenic disturbances. A recent study combined data from an Amazon-wide network of forest inventory plots with spatially explicit deforestation models to predict that by 2050, 36% or 57% of species will be ‘globally threatened’, as defined by IUCN Red List criteria, due to deforestation under Increased-Governance or Business-As-Usual scenarios, respectively. It was also predicted that the number of threatened species will drop by 29–44% if no deforestation occurs within protected areas. However, even the best-protected areas of the Amazon may still be susceptible to the effects of climate change and rising temperatures. To illustrate the potential dangers of climate change for Amazonian parks, we calculated the percentage of land area within all officially designated protected areas of tropical South America that will or will not have future temperature analogs under various scenarios of temperature change and park connectivity. We show that depending on the rate of warming and degree of connectivity, about 19–67% of protected areas will not have any temperature analogs in the near future (2050s). These results help to emphasize that protected areas are not immune to the effects of climate change and that large portions of Amazonian protected areas include ‘disappearing climates’. In the face of these disappearing climates, the biggest determinant of many species’ extinction risks may be their ability to migrate through non-protected habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1084
Number of pages4
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Volume22
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

protected area
conservation areas
climate
deforestation
climate change
connectivity
temperature
extinction risk
Red List
forest inventory
governance
threatened species
ecosystem service
land use change
ecosystem services
anthropogenic activities
extinction
warming
biodiversity
disturbance

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • climate change
  • extinction
  • global warming
  • landscape connectivity
  • Red List
  • species migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Disappearing climates will limit the efficacy of Amazonian protected areas. / Feeley, Kenneth; Silman, Miles R.

In: Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 22, No. 11, 01.11.2016, p. 1081-1084.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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