Article: article from journal or magazin.
Will climate change reduce the efficacy of protected areas for amphibian conservation in Italy?
Amphibians are an important and imperiled component of biodiversity. In this study we analyze the efficacy of Italian reserve network for protecting multiple amphibian species in a climate change scenario, considering both nationally designated areas and Natura 2000 sites. Our approach is based on ensemble niche modeling estimate of potential range shift under two carbon emission scenarios (A1FI and B1) and two dispersal assumptions. The predicted distributions were used to perform gap and irreplaceability analyses. Our findings show that the current Italian reserve network incompletely represents current amphibian diversity and its geographic pattern. The combination of the nationally designated protected areas and the Natura 2000 sites improves current representation of amphibians, but conservation targets based on geographic range extent are achieved for only 40% of species. Under the future scenarios, Natura 2000 sites become a crucial component of the protected areas system. Nonetheless, we predict that climate change decreases for many species the amount of suitable range falling into reserves, regardless of our assumptions about dispersal. We identify some currently unprotected areas that have high irreplaceability scores for species conservation and that maintain their importance under all the future scenarios we considered. We recommend designation of new reserves in these areas to help guarantee long-term amphibian conservation.
Global warming, Gap analysis, Irreplaceability, Conservation priorities
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