How do species’ traits determine their responses to climate change?

Fellow Carmen Soria gave a talk entitled How do species’ traits determine their responses to climate change? on 17 June 2021 during the symposium III of the online 100th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists. She was also an organizer of this symposium.

You can find the programme here.

[Oral presentation] Carmen Soria, Michela Pacifici, Carlo Rondinini (2021) How do species’ traits determine their responses to climate change? Symposium III Global Trends in Mammals, 100th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, online.

Abstract: Climate change has already impacted many mammal populations and is projected to become one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. These changes in climate produce altered conditions that might not be suitable for species’ persistence. Multiple studies have reported populations changing their distribution, phenology, or behavior among others, in order to survive. To identify which species and populations are and will be more at risk, we need to determine not only which of them are not keeping up with climate change, but also which traits are mediating this response. To disentangle the relationship between responses and traits, we conducted a literature review of recorded responses of terrestrial non-volant mammals to climate change at a global scale. We identified 382 population-level responses belonging to 130 species located in 32 different countries. Most of these responses consisted in distributional shifts, with contractions predominantly occurring in the warm edge of the distribution and expansions in the cold edge, indicating poleward shifts. We analyzed the relationship between these distributional responses and traits, accounting for the location of the response. Our preliminary results suggest that populations more exposed to the effects of climate change and those that are restricted ecologically, have been more negatively impacted. Determining which mammal populations have these traits will aid in developing effective monitoring and proactive conservation strategies when needed.