GEO 446LEC Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Alpine Plant, Swiss Alps, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
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Chapter 12: Estimating Extinction
How do we estimate extinction?
What are the estimates (projections) of extinction due to climate change?
How can we improve those estimates?
Five mass extinction events
Currencies used to assess vulnerability: ‘WHAT’
current and future distributions can be projected using either mechanistic or correlative niche
Based on direct observations, indices of abundance, reporting rates used as proxies for
abundance, or inferred from declines in extent of occupied or suitable habitat
population fluctuations with changing environmental parameters to estimate extinction
probability within a given time interval
Vulnerability indices and other relative scoring systems
E.g. “low” and “high”
Approaches used to model vulnerability: ‘HOW’
Typically developed from laboratory and field observations of demographic rates, physiological
tolerances, competition and dispersal, diseases and predation, as well as from energy balance
Data hungry and still might get the model wrong…
Use species’ biological characteristics as predictors of extinction risk often with estimates of
Select traits related to sensitivity (e.g. ecological specialization, inter-specific interactions) and
adaptability (i.e. dispersal and phenotypic adaptability)
Score each according to observations or expert judgment
Extinction risks from climate change from 131 studies
Predicted extinction risks from climate change accelerate with global temperature rise
Predicted extinction risks from climate change differ by region
Predicted extinction risks from climate change depend on model characteristics
Move, adapt, or perish
How, exactly, could climate change cause extinction?
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