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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Climate change refugia and habitat connectivity promote species persistence

Authors:

Toni Lyn Morelli

Sean Maher

Marisa Lim

Christina Kastely

Lindsey Eastman

Lorraine Flint

Alan Flint

Steven Beissinger

Craig Moritz

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2017
Secondary Title:
Climate Change Responses
DOI:
10.1186/s40665-017-0036-5
Volume:
4
Year:
2017
Date:
Jan-12-2017
URL:
https://climatechangeresponses.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40665-017-0036-5

Abstract

Climate change refugia, areas buffered from climate change relative to their surroundings, are of increasing interest as natural resource managers seek to prioritize climate adaptation actions. However, evidence that refugia buffer the effects of anthropogenic climate change is largely missing. Focusing on the climate-sensitive Belding's ground squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi), we predicted that highly connected Sierra Nevada meadows that had warmed less or shown less precipitation change over the last century would have greater population persistence, as measured by short-term occupancy, fewer extirpations over the twentieth century, and long-term persistence measured through genetic diversity.