Modelling Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Dry Forest Fauna

Stephenson, Kimberly, Wilson, Byron, Taylor, Michael, McLaren, Kurt, van Veen, Rick, Kunna, John and Campbell, Jayaka (2022) Modelling Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Dry Forest Fauna. Sustainability, 14 (8). p. 4760. ISSN 2071-1050

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Tropical dry forests are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world, and those occurring in the insular Caribbean are particularly vulnerable. Climate change represents a significant threat for the Caribbean region and for small islands like Jamaica. Using the Hellshire Hills protected area in Jamaica, a simple model was developed to project future abundance of arthropods and lizards based on current sensitivities to climate variables derived from rainfall and temperature records. The abundances of 20 modelled taxa were predicted more often by rainfall variables than temperature, but both were found to have strong impacts on arthropod and lizard abundance. Most taxa were projected to decrease in abundance by the end of the century under drier and warmer conditions. Where an increase in abundance was projected under a low emissions scenario, this change was reduced or reversed under a high emissions climate change scenario. The validation process showed that, even for a small population, there was reasonable skill in predicting its annual variability. Results of this study show that this simple model can be used to identify the vulnerability of similar sites to the effects of shifting climate and, by extension, their conservation needs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Funders include the International Iguana Foundation, Conservation International, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, Dutch Iguana Foundation, Mohamed bin Zayed Conservation Fund, Global Environmental Facility, National Environment and Planning Agency, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, Government of Jamaica, Beneficia Foundation, Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, Woodland Park Zoo Conservation Fund, and several anonymous donors. Funding was also received from The University of the West Indies through the Research and Publications Grant, Principal’s New Initiative Fund, and Mona Campus Research Fellowship Programme. Additional support was received from a number of zoos including the Hope Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Audubon Zoo, and Miami Metrozoo.
Uncontrolled Keywords: tropical dry forest, biodiversity, bioclimatic modelling, Caribbean
Subjects: D500 Forestry
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 13:58
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 13:58

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