Climate-induced resource bottlenecks exacerbate species vulnerability: a review


Maron, M., McAlpine, C.A., Watson, J.E.M., Maxwell, S. and P. Barnard (2015). Climate-induced resource bottlenecks exacerbate species vulnerability: a review. Diversity and Distributions, 21:731-743.

Resource bottlenecks - periods of severe restriction in resource availability - triggered by increased climate variability represent important and little-understood mechanisms through which climate change will affect biodiversity. In this review, we synthesize the key global change processes that exacerbate the severity of bottlenecks in resource availability on animal populations, and outline how adaptation responses can help buffer the impacts.

We found forty-nine instances of population-level impacts from climate-induced resource bottlenecks were recorded from the literature, including four extinctions and ten population crashes. Anthropogenic land use change interacts with increasing climatic variability to exacerbate these resource 'crunches', but can sometimes act as a buffer for species.

More effective conservation responses to climate-related threats include managing protected area networks for spatial and temporal resource complementarities and other targeted actions to buffer vulnerable species against bottlenecks.

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