- Modelling the effect of climate change on species ranges
- Levende Natuur
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Three main types of models can be used to understand and predict climate-related range shifts. Equilibrium models predict potential future distributions from the current climate envelope of a species, but do not take migration constraints into account. They show that future range changes can be large. Migration models investigate migration speeds on the front edge of a range after a stepped climate change, but are difficult to parameterize because past, current and future migration processes are not well understood. New, dynamic profile models focus on the influence a shifting climate has on processes on both the advancing and the retreating range edge. They reveal that the tracking delays developing at the two edges are very much influenced by the way climate actually affects (meta)population dynamics. Due to various uncertainties none of the models can be used to accurately predict future ranges. However, useful qualitative inferences are possible. For example, it appears that habitat destruction greatly increases the deleterious effects of climate change.