Protection gaps in Amazon floodplains will increase with climate change: insight from the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish


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Protection gaps in Amazon floodplains will increase with climate change: insight from the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Dubos N., Lenormand M., Castello L., Oberdorff T., Guisan A., Luque S.
Publication state
In Press
1. The Amazon floodplains represent important surfaces of highly valuable ecosystems, yet they remain neglected from protected areas. While the efficiency of the protected area network of the Amazon Basin may be jeopardised by climate change, floodplains are exposed to important consequences of climate change but are omitted from species distribution models and protection gap analyses.
2. The present and future (2070) distribution of the giant bony-tongue fish Arapaima spp. (Arapaimidae) was modelled accounting for climate and habitat requirements, with consideration of dam presence (already existing and planned constructions) and hydroperiod (high- and low-water stages). We further quantified the amount of suitable environment which falls inside and outside the current network of protected areas to identify spatial conservation gaps.
3. We predict climate change to cause the decline of environmental suitability by 16.6% during the high-water stage, and by 19.4% during the low-water stage. About 70% of the suitable environments of Arapaima spp. remain currently unprotected. The gap is higher during the low water stage by 0.7%. The lack of protection is likely to increase by 5% with future climate change effects. Both existing and projected dam constructions may hamper population flows between the central, Bolivian and Peruvian parts of the basin.
4. We highlight protection gaps mostly in the southwestern part of the basin and recommend the extension of the current network of protected areas in the floodplains of the upper Ucayali, Juruà and Purus Rivers and their tributaries. This study showed the importance of integrating hydroperiod and dispersal barriers in forecasting the distribution of freshwater fish species, and stresses the urgent need to integrate floodplains to the protected area networks.
Arapaima spp., Climate change, Dams, Gap analysis, Hydroperiod, Species Distribution Models, Water colour
Create date
20/07/2022 18:35
Last modification date
21/07/2022 6:37
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