Effects of climate change and anthropogenic modification on a disturbance-dependent species in a large riverine system
Zeigler, Sara L.
Catlin, Daniel H.
Brown, Mary Bomberger
Fraser, James D.
Dinan, Lauren R.
Hunt, Kelsi L.
Jorgensen, Joel G.
Karpanty, Sarah M.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordCharadrius melodus; Early-successional; Endangered species conservation; Floods; Global change; Land-use change; Piping plovers; Population viability analysis; Succession; Vortex
Humans have altered nearly every natural disturbance regime on the planet through climate and land-use change, and in many instances, these processes may have interacting effects. For example, projected shifts in temperature and precipitation will likely influence disturbance regimes already affected by anthropogenic fire suppression or river impoundments. Understanding how disturbance-dependent species respond to complex and interacting environmental changes is important for conservation efforts. Using field-based demographic and movement rates, we conducted a metapopulation viability analysis for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), a threatened disturbance-dependent species, along the Missouri and Platte rivers in the Great Plains of North America. Our aim was to better understand current and projected future metapopulation dynamics given that natural disturbances (flooding or high-flow events) have been greatly reduced by river impoundments and that climate change could further alter the disturbance regime. Although metapopulation abundance has been substantially reduced under the current suppressed disturbance regime (high-flow return interval ~ 20 yr), it could grow if the frequency of high-flow events increases as predicted under likely climate change scenarios. We found that a four-year return interval would maximize metapopulation abundance, and all subpopulations in the metapopulation would act as sources at a return interval of 15 yr or less. Regardless of disturbance frequency, the presence of even a small, stable source subpopulation buffered the metapopulation and sustained a low metapopulation extinction risk. Therefore, climate change could have positive effects in ecosystems where disturbances have been anthropogenically suppressed when climatic shifts move disturbance regimes toward more historical patterns. Furthermore, stable source populations, even if unintentionally maintained through anthropogenic activities, may be critical for the persistence of metapopulations of early-successional species under both suppressed disturbance regimes and disturbance regimes where climate change has further altered disturbance frequency or scope.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Ecosphere 8 (2017): e01653, doi:10.1002/ecs2.1653.
Suggested CitationEcosphere 8 (2017): e01653
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Projected changes in habitat suitability for 33 marine species on the Northeast US shelf based on species distribution models fit to bottom trawl survey data from the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center Rogers, Lauren; Griffin, Robert; Young, Talia; Fuller, Emma; St. Martin, Kevin; Pinsky, Malin (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 2019-05-22)Projected changes in habitat suitability for 33 marine species on the Northeast US shelf. Changes in habitat suitability are calculated based on species distribution models fit to bottom trawl survey data from the NOAA ...
Changes in species abundance after seven years of elevated atmospheric CO2 and warming in a Subarctic birch forest understorey, as modified by rodent and moth outbreaks Svensson, Brita M.; Carlsson, Bengt Å.; Melillo, Jerry M. (PeerJ, 2018-05-29)A seven-year long, two-factorial experiment using elevated temperatures (5 °C) and CO2 (concentration doubled compared to ambient conditions) designed to test the effects of global climate change on plant community composition ...
Influence of dispersal processes on the global dynamics of Emperor penguin, a species threatened by climate change Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Garnier, Jimmy; Patout, Florian; Desvillettes, Laurent (2017-05)Species endangered by rapid climate change may persist by tracking their optimal habitat; this depends on their dispersal characteristics. The Emperor Penguin (EP) is an Antarctic seabird threatened by future sea ice ...