12 Jul 2021

12 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Not all biodiversity richspots are climate refugia

Ádám T. Kocsis1, Qianshuo Zhao2, Mark J. Costello3, and Wolfgang Kiessling1 Ádám T. Kocsis et al.
  • 1GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Loewenichstr. 28, Erlangen, Germany
  • 2Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  • 3Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University, Bodø, 8049 Norway

Abstract. Anthropogenic climate change is increasingly threatening biodiversity on a global scale. Richspots of biodiversity, regions with exceptionally high endemism and/or number of species, are a top priority for nature conservation. Terrestrial studies have hypothesised that richspots occur in places where long-term climate change was dampened relative to other regions. Here we tested whether biodiversity richspots are likely to provide refugia for organisms during anthropogenic climate change. We assess the spatial distribution of both historic (absolute temperature change and climate change velocities) and projected climate change in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine richspots. The results suggest that although terrestrial and freshwater richspots have been and will be somewhat less affected than other areas, they are not excluded from the impacts of global warming. Their characteristic biota is expected to witness similar forcing as other areas, including range shifts and elevated risk of extinction. Marine richspots have warmed even more, have higher climate velocities and are projected to experience higher future warming than non-richspot areas. Our findings emphasise the urgency of protecting a comprehensive and representative network of biodiversity-rich areas that accommodate species range shifts under climate change.

Ádám T. Kocsis et al.

Status: open (until 23 Aug 2021)

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Ádám T. Kocsis et al.

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Supplementary Information for 'Not all biodiversity richspots are climate refugia' Kocsis, Ádám T., Zhao, Qianshuo, Costello, Mark J., Kiessling, Wolfgang

Ádám T. Kocsis et al.


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Short summary
Biodiversity is under threat from the effects of global warming. Assessing the effects of climate change on areas of high species richness is of high importance to conservation. Terrestrial and freshwater richspots have been and will be less affected by climate change than other areas. Marine richspots of biodiversity, however, are expected to experience more pronounced warming.