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Climate Change and Areas with High Species Diversity at Global Scale (ClimBioHotspots)
Start date: 16 Oct 2008, End date: 15 Oct 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of this project is to estimate possible climate-induced changes to species richness in three categories, total, endemic and threatened richness. Possible impacts will be assessed: a) at a global scale; b) for centres of endemism for vascular plants, birds, mammals, amphibian and reptiles; c) in CI global biodiversity hotspots; and d) for the Global 200 ecoregions. In just the same way that Conservation International recognise biodiversity hotspots, by considering the combined effects of land use change and biodiversity value, an aim of the proposed work is to map regions of climate-induced rapid loss in species richness, which will be described as “climatic biodiversity hotspots” (ClimBioHotspots). Identification of vulnerable to climate change areas, where species extinction for the five taxa and three categories is expected to be highest, requires several steps: 1. To collect and harmonise databases (biotic, environmental, land use, human population density, climate scenario) 2. To test existing tools and methods, including the species-energy relationship for vascular plants and general dissimilarity models and software, a means of predicting total, endemic and threatened species-richness. 3. To develop new concepts and statistical models for estimating dissimilarity in intra-taxa congruence. 4. To carry out computer experiments for assessment of species richness changes for the six climate change scenarios. 5. To identify regions important for biodiversity that are vulnerable to climate change areas. We expect that our results for climate change induced impacts upon species diversity in the global conservation priority areas and identification of ClimBioHotspots will have a significant response in scientific literature and mass-media. The users in national and international conservation agencies may have a considerable interest in results of this research, which will confirm high prestige and competitiveness of European biodiversity science
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