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A Global-Scale Evaluation of Mammalian Exposure and Vulnerability to Anthropogenic Climate Change

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A Global-Scale Evaluation of Mammalian Exposure and Vulnerability to Anthropogenic Climate Change

Graham, Tanya L. (2018) A Global-Scale Evaluation of Mammalian Exposure and Vulnerability to Anthropogenic Climate Change. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

There is considerable evidence demonstrating that anthropogenic climate change is impacting species living in the wild. The vulnerability of a given species to such change may be understood as a combination of the magnitude of climate change to which the species is exposed, the sensitivity of the species to changes in climate, and the capacity of the species to adapt to climatic change. I used species distributions and estimates of expected changes in local temperatures per teratonne of carbon emissions to assess the exposure of terrestrial mammal species to human-induced climate change. I evaluated species vulnerability to climate change by combining expected local temperature changes with species conservation status, using the latter as a proxy for species sensitivity and adaptive capacity to climate change. I also performed a global-scale analysis to identify hotspots of mammalian vulnerability to climate change using expected temperature changes, species richness and average species threat level for each km2 across the globe. The average expected change in local annual average temperature for terrestrial mammal species is 1.85 oC/TtC. Highest temperature changes are expected for species living in high northern latitudes, while smaller changes are expected for species living in tropical locations. Hotspots of terrestrial mammalian vulnerability to climate change include northern Eurasia and Canada, central China, and the Amazon basin. This study is intended to provide a guide for conservation research and planning in the identification of individual mammal species as well as regions of mammalian habitat that may become increasingly vulnerable with continued climate change.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Graham, Tanya L.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:30 March 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Matthews, H. Damon
ID Code:983657
Deposited By: TANYA GRAHAM
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 03:56
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 03:56
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