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Constraints to projecting the effects of climate change on mammals


Constraints to projecting the effects of climate change on mammals

Berteaux, D, Humphries, MM, Krebs, CJ, Lima, M, McAdam, AG, Pettorelli, N, Réale, D, Saitoh, T, Tkadlec, E, Weladji, Robert B. and Stenseth, NC (2006) Constraints to projecting the effects of climate change on mammals. Climate Research, 32 (2). pp. 151-158. ISSN 0936-577X (In Press)

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Weladji_ClimateResearch2006b.pdf - Published Version

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/cr032151


Ecologists are under pressure to anticipate the ecological effects of climate change. Therefore many ecological publications (and most grant proposals) related to climate claim relevance to the projection of future climate change effects. Yet the steps leading from ecological description and understanding to reliable projection are rarely explicit. A good understanding of the factors which allow the ecological effects of climate change to be effectively anticipated is critical to both the quality of basic science and its application to public policy. We used research performed on mammals to explore scientific approaches to anticipation of climate change effects. We distinguished forecasting models based on correlations from predictive models based on cause-effect relationships. These categories represent extremes along a continuous gradient between pattern description and causal understanding. We suggest that the constraints to our capacity to anticipate fall into 6 broad categories rooted in the development and application of forecasting and predictive models. These categories help to identify the conditions that allow or prevent projection of the effects of climate change on ecosystems. This approach should also help to identify which research avenues will likely be most fruitful.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Berteaux, D and Humphries, MM and Krebs, CJ and Lima, M and McAdam, AG and Pettorelli, N and Réale, D and Saitoh, T and Tkadlec, E and Weladji, Robert B. and Stenseth, NC
Journal or Publication:Climate Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.3354/cr032151
Keywords:Cause-effect relationships · Climate change · Ecology · Forecasting · Mammals · Models · Prediction · Scientific projection · Time series
ID Code:7603
Deposited On:16 May 2011 15:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:31
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