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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Jaeschke, A*; Thomasch, H; Reineking, B; Beierkuhnlein, C: Potential climate driven distribution changes of two closely related European toads
Poster, 42nd Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Lüneburg: 2012-09-10 - 2012-09-14

Recent climate change is widely expected to affect the distribution of species. Species distribution modelling aims to estimate the potential direction and dimension of range changes by coupling climatic information with current distribution patterns. While it is generally accepted that the specific ecological requirements of a given species should be considered in distribution models, many studies use a generic approach to model building. Here, we applied species distribution models considering terrestrial and aquatic habitat requirements of two European amphibian species: Bufo calamita and Bufo viridis. Future projections up to 2050 were driven by the HadCM3 climate model and the A2 emission scenario. Further, two dispersal scenarios were applied: no and unrestricted dispersal. Subsequently, influences on the shared distribution area of these two species were examined. Modelling results project declines of distribution area for B. calamita on the Iberian Peninsula and at the eastern range border. Under the assumption of unrestricted dispersal new potential distribution areas can be expected in Northeast-Europe. For B. viridis nearly no declines in distribution area are projected. Considering unrestricted dispersal, new potential area in the north and northeast of Europe is projected facilitating northward range expansions. The overlapping area of both species in Germany seems to remain stable with only few projected losses and gains. Both species are protected by the EU Habitats Directive. Bufo viridis could benefit from climate change or be at least unaffected. In this case, additional adaptation strategies for conservation seem not to be necessary. In contrast, the projected changes for B. calamita indicate that the development of conservation strategies under changed environmental conditions is required.
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