Earth and Environmental Sciences

What Biology Matters For Forecasting Species’ Response to Environmental Change?
Lauren Buckley, University of North Carolina

In response to past climate changes, species have shifted their phenology, distribution, and abundances in different directions and to different extents. These individualistic responses are inconsistent with most techniques for ecological forecasting, which rely on estimating an environmental niche. What biological details should be incorporated in these models to improve forecasts? I will discuss research investigating how thermoregulatory behavior by lizards can limit local adaptation of thermal tolerance and ultimately confer sensitivity to climate change. I will also present research repeating historic lab and field studies and examining museum specimens to investigate how insect traits and trait shifts have determined ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change in two Colorado alpine systems over the last 50 years: Colias butterflies and grasshoppers. Physiological differences between populations and species are beginning to account for the individualistic responses of our focal organisms to recent climate change. But how can we scale up to make the broad scale predictions for many species that are essential to understanding the impacts of climate change on biodiversity? I address approaches to tractably include morphological, physiological, and life history details to enhance ecological forecasts.

Background Review Article:
Buckley, Lauren B., Kingsolver, Joel G., Functional and Phylogenetic Approaches to Forecasting Species' Responses to Climate Change, 2012. J Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. pp. 205-226, vol. 43 no. 1 doi:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110411-160516 annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110411-160516

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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Kavli Frontiers of Science PRO

This channel contains session presentations that cover earth science and environmental science topics from the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium series of the National Academy of Sciences.

For additional symposium information, please visit our web…


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This channel contains session presentations that cover earth science and environmental science topics from the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium series of the National Academy of Sciences.

For additional symposium information, please visit our web site (nasonline.org/kfos).

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