Seeds of change: changing plant ranges in Alberta

In this study, researchers used 160,000 occurrences (27,000 from the GBIF network) to model ecological niches of 1,500 seed plants in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Data resources used via GBIF : 27,000 species occurrences
Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) by Clayton D'Orsay via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

In this study, researchers used 160,000 occurrences (27,000 from the GBIF network) to model ecological niches of 1,500 seed plants in the Canadian province of Alberta. When combined with future climate data, they found that by the 2080s, 24 per cent of species may lose more than 80 per cent of their habitat, but 35 per cent may double their suitable range. But overall, they predict that species richness and phylogenetic diversity will increase in most areas, except for the Rocky Mountains. The study suggests that analysis of the evolutionary history of species may offer new opportunities when prioritizing conservation efforts.

Citations

Zhang J, Nielsen SE, Stolar J, Chen Y and Thuiller W (2015) Gains and losses of plant species and phylogenetic diversity for a northern high-latitude region. Diversity and Distributions. Wiley-Blackwell, 1441–1454. Available at doi:10.1111/ddi.12365.

Subject