Global climates are changing rapidly, with unexpected consequences1. Because elements of biodiversity respond intimately to climate as an important driving force of distributional limitation2, distributional shifts and biodiversity losses are expected3,4. Nevertheless, in spite of modelling efforts focused on single species2 or entire ecosystems5, a few preliminary surveys of fauna-wide effects6,7, and evidence of climate change-mediated shifts in several species8,9, the likely effects of climate change on species' distributions remain little known, and fauna-wide or community-level effects are almost completely unexplored6. Here, using a genetic algorithm and museum specimen occurrence data, we develop ecological niche models for 1,870 species occurring in Mexico and project them onto two climate surfaces modelled for 2055. Although extinctions and drastic range reductions are predicted to be relatively few, species turnover in some local communities is predicted to be high (>40% of species), suggesting that severe ecological perturbations may result.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Houghton, J. T. et al. (eds) IPCC Third Assessment Report: Climate Change 2001 (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2001).
Johnston, K. M. & Schmitz, O. J. Wildlife and climate change: Assessing the sensitivity of selected species to simulated doubling of atmospheric CO2 . Glob. Change Biol. 3, 531–544 (1997).
Dobson, A., Jolly, A. & Rubenstein, D. The greenhouse effect and biological diversity. Trends Ecol. Evol. 4, 64–68 (1989).
Chapin, F. S. I. et al. Consequences of changing biodiversity. Nature 405, 234–242 (2000).
Woodward, F. I., Lomas, M. R. & Betts, R. A. Vegetation-climate feedback in a greenhouse world. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 353, 29–39 (1998).
Sala, O. E. et al. Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287, 1770–1773 (2000).
Price, J. Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on the summer distributions of Massachusetts passerines. Birds Obs. 28, 224–230 (2000).
Visser, M. E., van Noordwijk, A. J., Tinbergen, J. M. & Lessells, C. M. Warmer springs lead to mistimed reproduction in great tits (Parus major). Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 265, 1867–1870 (1998).
Parmesan, C. Climate and species' range. Nature 382, 765–766 (1996).
Soberon, J. Linking biodiversity information sources. Trends Ecol. Evol. 14, 291 (1999).
Peterson, A. T. et al. Effects of global climate change on geographic distributions of Mexican Cracidae. Ecol. Model. 144, 21–30 (2001).
Peterson, A. T. Predicting species' geographic distributions based on ecological niche modeling. Condor 103, 599–605 (2001).
Koopowitz, H., Thornhill, A. D. & Andersen, M. A general stochastic model for the prediction of biodiversity losses based on habitat conversion. Conserv. Biol. 8, 452–438 (1994).
Davis, A J., Jenkinson, L. S., Lawton, J. H., Shorrocks, B. & Wood, S. Making mistakes when predicting shifts in species range in response to global warming. Nature 391, 783–786 (1998).
Peterson, A. T. & Vieglais, D. A. Predicting species invasions using ecological niche modeling. BioScience 51, 363–371 (2001).
Sánchez-Cordero, V. & Martínez-Meyer, E. Museum specimen data predict crop damage by tropical rodents. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 97, 7074–7077 (2000).
Peterson, A. T., Stockwell, D. R. B. & Kluza, D. A. in Predicting Species Occurrences: Issues of Scale and Accuracy (ed. Scott, J. M.) (Island, Washington DC, in the press).
Stockwell, D. R. B. & Peters, D. P. The GARP modelling system: Problems and solutions to automated spatial prediction. Int. J. Geograph. Inform. Systems 13, 143–158 (1999).
Peterson, A. T. & Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. Alternate species concepts as bases for determining priority conservation areas. Conserv. Biol. 13, 427–431 (1999).
Peterson, A. T., Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. & Benítez-Diaz, H. The need for continued scientific collecting: A geographic analysis of Mexican bird specimens. Ibis 140, 288–294 (1998).
Peterson, A. T., Soberón, J. & Sánchez-Cordero, V. Conservatism of ecological niches in evolutionary time. Science 285, 1265–1267 (1999).
Llorente-Bousquets, J., Luis, A. & Vargas, I. Papilionidae y Pieridae de México: Distribución Geográfica e Ilustración (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, 1997).
Tobler, W. R. Smooth pycnophylactic interpolation of geographic regions. J. Am. Stat. Ass. 74, 519–530 (1979).
Carson, D. J. Climate modelling: achievements and prospects. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 125, 1–27 (1999).
Holt, R. D. & Gaines, M. S. Analysis of adaptation in heterogeneous landscapes: implications for the evolution of fundamental niches. Evol. Ecol. 6, 433–447 (1992).
Grinnell, J. Field tests of theories concerning distributional control. Am. Nat. 51, 115–128 (1917).
MacArthur, R. Geographical Ecology (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 1972).
Austin, M. P., Nicholls, A. O. & Margules, C. R. Measurement of the realized qualitative niche: Environmental niches of five Eucalyptus species. Ecol. Monogr. 60, 161–177 (1990).
Peterson, A. T., Ball, L. G. & Cohoon, K. C. Predicting distributions of tropical birds. Ibis 144, e27–e32 (2002).
We thank A. G. Navarro-Sigüenza, J. E. Llorente-Bousquets, A. M. Luis, I. Vargas and L. Oniate for assembling distributional data, C. Thomas for help and advice, and E. Martínez-Meyer, G. Jiménez-Casas, S. Egbert and K. P. Price for collaboration. This research was supported by the US National Science Foundation, and grants from CONACyT and DGAPA to J. Soberón and V. Sánchez-Cordero.
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests
About this article
Cite this article
Peterson, A., Ortega-Huerta, M., Bartley, J. et al. Future projections for Mexican faunas under global climate change scenarios. Nature 416, 626–629 (2002) doi:10.1038/416626a
Incorporating the insurance value of peri-urban ecosystem services into natural hazard policies and insurance products: Insights from Mexico
Ecological Economics (2020)
Synergistic Effects of Climate and Land-Cover Change on Long-Term Bird Population Trends of the Western USA: A Test of Modeled Predictions
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2019)
Climatic Change (2019)
Evolutionary algorithms for species distribution modelling: A review in the context of machine learning
Ecological Modelling (2019)