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Climate Change, Bioclimatic Models and the Risk to Lichen Diversity

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK
Diversity 2019, 11(4), 54;
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichen Diversity and Biomonitoring)
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This paper provides an overview of bioclimatic models applied to lichen species, supporting their potential use in this context as indicators of climate change risk. First, it provides a brief summary of climate change risk, pointing to the relevance of lichens as a topic area. Second, it reviews the past use of lichen bioclimatic models, applied for a range of purposes with respect to baseline climate, and the application of data sources, statistical methods, model extents and resolution and choice of predictor variables. Third, it explores additional challenges to the use of lichen bioclimatic models, including: 1. The assumption of climatically controlled lichen distributions, 2. The projection to climate change scenarios, and 3. The issue of nonanalogue climates and model transferability. Fourth, the paper provides a reminder that bioclimatic models estimate change in the extent or range of a species suitable climate space, and that an outcome will be determined by vulnerability responses, including potential for migration, adaptation, and acclimation, within the context of landscape habitat quality. The degree of exposure to climate change, estimated using bioclimatic models, can help to inform an understanding of whether vulnerability responses are sufficient for species resilience. Fifth, the paper draws conclusions based on its overview, highlighting the relevance of bioclimatic models to conservation, support received from observational data, and pointing the way towards mechanistic approaches that align with field-scale climate change experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; acclimation; climate envelope models; dispersal; exposure; microclimatic refugia; vulnerability adaptation; acclimation; climate envelope models; dispersal; exposure; microclimatic refugia; vulnerability

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Ellis, C.J. Climate Change, Bioclimatic Models and the Risk to Lichen Diversity. Diversity 2019, 11, 54.

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