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Open AccessArticle

Continental vs. Global Niche-Based Modelling of Freshwater Species’ Distributions: How Big Are the Differences in the Estimated Climate Change Effects?

1
Faculty of Business Management and Social Sciences, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Caprivistr. 30A, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany
2
Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Valeria Lencioni and Dean Jacobsen
Water 2021, 13(6), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060816
Received: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 14 March 2021 / Published: 16 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate and Environmental Change on Freshwater Ecosystems)
Thermal response curves that depict the probability of occurrence along a thermal gradient are used to derive various species’ thermal properties and abilities to cope with warming. However, different thermal responses can be expected for different portions of a species range. We focus on differences in thermal response curves (TRCs) and thermal niche requirements for four freshwater fishes (Coregonus sardinella, Pungitius pungitius, Rutilus rutilus, Salvelinus alpinus) native to Europe at (1) the global and (2) European continental scale. European ranges captured only a portion of the global thermal range with major differences in the minimum (Tmin), maximum (Tmax) and average temperature (Tav) of the respective distributions. Further investigations of the model-derived preferred temperature (Tpref), warming tolerance (WT = Tmax − Tpref), safety margin (SM = Tpref − Tav) and the future climatic impact showed substantially differing results. All considered thermal properties either were under- or overestimated at the European level. Our results highlight that, although continental analyses have an impressive spatial extent, they might deliver misleading estimates of species thermal niches and future climate change impacts, if they do not cover the full species ranges. Studies and management actions should therefore favor whole global range distribution data for analyzing species responses to environmental gradients. View Full-Text
Keywords: freshwater; preferred temperature; climate change; safety margin; thermal response curves; warming tolerance freshwater; preferred temperature; climate change; safety margin; thermal response curves; warming tolerance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Markovic, D.; Freyhof, J.; Kärcher, O. Continental vs. Global Niche-Based Modelling of Freshwater Species’ Distributions: How Big Are the Differences in the Estimated Climate Change Effects? Water 2021, 13, 816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060816

AMA Style

Markovic D, Freyhof J, Kärcher O. Continental vs. Global Niche-Based Modelling of Freshwater Species’ Distributions: How Big Are the Differences in the Estimated Climate Change Effects? Water. 2021; 13(6):816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060816

Chicago/Turabian Style

Markovic, Danijela; Freyhof, Jörg; Kärcher, Oskar. 2021. "Continental vs. Global Niche-Based Modelling of Freshwater Species’ Distributions: How Big Are the Differences in the Estimated Climate Change Effects?" Water 13, no. 6: 816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060816

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