Interactions between Habitat Loss and Climate Change: Implications for Fairy Shrimp in the Central Valley Ecoregion of California, Usa

Author: Pyke, Christopher

Source: Climatic Change, Volume 68, Numbers 1-2, January 2005 , pp. 199-218(20)

Publisher: Springer

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Combinations of habitat loss and climate change can alter the distribution of environmental conditions available to organisms. The magnitude and direction of these changes may have important implications for ecological processes and species persistence. This study explored the potential impacts of projected changes in climate and land-use for five fairy shrimp species (Crustacea: Anostraca) endemic to vernal pools in the Central Valley ecoregion of California, U.S.A. Scenarios describing habitat extent and climate were developed for 2040 and 2100 and compared to a 1990’s baseline. Hydrologic conditions in vernal pools were found to be sensitive to projected climate changes, and, in the absence of habitat loss, warmer temperatures and greater winter precipitation would drive vernal pools toward longer, more frequent periods of inundation. However, existing biological reserves for three of the five species are biased toward drier areas and if unprotected habitat were lost, the net change in hydrologic conditions would be reversed with remaining habitat providing shorter, less frequent inundations. Species with unbiased representation in reserves do not show this reversal, and they have predictable shifts in hydrologic conditions. These results demonstrate the importance of biologically and climatically representative reserve systems under climate change and habitat loss.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, 735 State Street, Suite 300, Santa Barbara, California, 93101, U.S.A., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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