A decision framework for considering climate change adaptation in biodiversity conservation planning.

Published online
19 Dec 2012
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Oliver, T. H. & Smithers, R. J. & Bailey, S. & Walmsley, C. A. & Watts, K.
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General principles of climate change adaptation for biodiversity have been formulated, but do not help prioritize actions. This is inhibiting their integration into conservation planning. We address this need with a decision framework that identifies and prioritizes actions to increase the adaptive capacity of species. The framework classifies species according to their current distribution and projected future climate space, as a basis for selecting appropriate decision trees. Decisions rely primarily on expert opinion, with additional information from quantitative models, where data are available. The framework considers in-situ management, followed by interventions at the landscape scale and finally translocation or ex-situ conservation. Synthesis and applications: From eight case studies, the key interventions identified for integrating climate change adaptation into conservation planning were local management and expansion of sites. We anticipate that, in combination with consideration of socio-economic and local factors, the decision framework will be a useful tool for conservation and natural resource managers to integrate adaptation measures into conservation plans.

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