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Climate-induced range overlap among closely related species

Nature Climate Change volume 5, pages 883886 (2015) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Contemporary climate change is causing large shifts in biotic distributions1, which has the potential to bring previously isolated, closely related species into contact2. This has led to concern that hybridization and competition could threaten species persistence3. Here, we use bioclimatic models to show that future range overlap by the end of the century is predicted for only 6.4% of isolated, congeneric species pairs of New World birds, mammals and amphibians. Projected rates of climate-induced overlap are higher for birds (11.6%) than for mammals (4.4%) or amphibians (3.6%). As many species will have difficulty tracking shifting climates4, actual rates of future overlap are likely to be far lower, suggesting that hybridization and competition impacts may be relatively modest.

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Acknowledgements

This work was completed with financial support from the Wilburforce Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, and the Packard Foundation.

Author information

Author notes

    • Chad B. Wilsey
    • , Jenny L. McGuire
    •  & Jennifer M. Duggan

    Present addresses: National Audubon Society, 220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, California 94104-3402, USA (C.B.W.); Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Biology, 310 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA (J.L.M.); Division of Science and Environmental Policy California State University, Monterey Bay 100 Campus Center Seaside, California 93955-8000, USA (J.M.D.).

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biology, University of Washington, Box 351800 Seattle, Washington 98195-1800, USA

    • Meade Krosby
    •  & Joshua J. Tewksbury
  2. Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Box 355674, Seattle, Washington 98195-5674, USA

    • Meade Krosby
  3. School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Box 352100 Seattle, Washington 98195-2100, USA

    • Chad B. Wilsey
    • , Jenny L. McGuire
    • , Jennifer M. Duggan
    • , Theresa M. Nogeire
    • , Julie A. Heinrichs
    •  & Joshua J. Lawler
  4. Luc Hoffman Institute, WWF International, Avenue du Mont-Blanc 1196 Gland, Switzerland

    • Joshua J. Tewksbury

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Contributions

M.K. conceived the study. M.K., C.B.W., J.M.D., J.L.M., J.A.H., T.M.N., J.J.T. and J.J.L. designed the analysis. C.B.W. and J.M.D. conducted most of the data analysis, with additional analysis completed by J.L.M., T.M.N., J.A.H. and M.K. M.K., J.J.L., J.J.T., C.B.W. and J.M.D. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Meade Krosby.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2699

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