Introducing Spatio-Temporal Conservation Units: Models for Flexible Optimization of Species Persistence Under Climate Change

Diogo Alagador, Jorge Orestes Cerdeira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Anticipating the effects of climate change on biodiversity and integrating them in planning protocols for the future are fundamental strategies to increase the effectiveness of conservation efforts. With climate change, species require dispersal skills to follow displacements of their suitable climates and therefore, spatial conservation interventions need to consider such dynamics. In general, common planning frameworks identify networks of conservation areas seemed important for species range shifts. However, it is highly unlikely that all the areas in a network present synchronous conservation value. Furthermore, given the continuous (spatial and temporal autocorrelated) nature of threats and ecological processes, the value of each area is largely dependent on the state of the neighboring areas in the recent past. In this study, a family of three models centered on the prioritization (not of single areas but) of temporal chains of areas as conservation units is presented. These models drive the use of financial investments through time in order to maximize the persistence of biodiversity in dynamic environments. Alike the most typical approaches, the here introduced models allow investments to be transferred between areas losing conservation relevancy to the areas that gain relevancy. A fictitious (but plausible) conservation plan for ten mammal species in Iberian Peninsula up to 2080 is used to illustrate the setting-up and outputs of the models. Results evidence that the conservation effectiveness achieved in each model depends on singular spatio-temporal distribution relationships among species and between species and distinct land-uses. Planners should then investigate the sensitivity of their goals to distinct decision-support tools even when driven by similar designs and constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Climate Change and Biodiversity. Climate Change Management
EditorsW. Leal Filho, J. Barbir, R. Preziosi
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-98681-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-98680-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameClimate Change Management
ISSN (Print)1610-2002
ISSN (Electronic)1610-2010


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