Anticipating arrival: tackling the national challenges associated with the redistribution of biodiversity driven by climate change.

Published online
22 Jul 2020
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Pettorelli, N. & Smith, J. & Pecl, G. T. & Hill, J. K. & Norris, K.
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The redistribution of species in response to climate change is expected to significantly challenge environmental management and conservation efforts around the globe. To date, we have had restricted understanding of the benefits and risks that species redistribution may pose to individual countries, and a limited appreciation of the variability in current opportunities for developing effective monitoring approaches that build on existing national frameworks. To assess the present level of ecological, economic and societal risks and opportunities associated with new arrivals of species driven by changes in climatic conditions, we conducted a review of the available information on changes in animal species (both terrestrial and marine) distribution suspected to be linked to climate change in the United Kingdom over the past 10 years (2008-2018). We found evidence that at least 55 species have arrived in new locations in the country due to climate change in the past decade, with 22 of them suspected to impact positively or negatively the recipient ecosystems, or nearby human communities. Ten of these 55 species were identified using keywords and hashtags on social media. Synthesis and applications. Our work identifies pressing monitoring gaps relevant to the management of species on the move and discusses the potential for social media to help address current information needs. It also calls for more theoretical work to enable the quick identification of species likely to be problematic (or beneficial) and locations likely to experience significant ecological and societal impacts from biodiversity's redistribution under a changing climate.

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