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Wednesday, April 11 • 10:30am - 10:45am
CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS AND ADAPTATION: Spatio-temporal Trajectories of an Understudied Small Mammal: Time-series Predictions of Northern Bog-lemming Distributions Across North America from 1900 to 2040

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AUTHORS: Andy Baltensperger*, National Park Service; Julie Hagelin, Alaska Department of Fish & Game; Paul Schuette, Alaska Center for Conservation Science

ABSTRACT: Climate change is shifting the distribution of species at both the leading and trailing edges of geographic ranges, where animals exist near their thermodynamic limits. Machine-learning based species distribution models that account for landscape characteristics and climate effects have been valuable tools for mapping changing wildlife distributions over time. Here we used RandomForests, with collections of museum records from 1900 to 2016 and 14 environmental predictors, to develop a series of distribution models for Northern bog lemmings (Synaptomys borealis) across North America. Six bidecadal models were validated using independent, temporally specific data. We also used IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) A2 scenario climate forecasts to predict the distribution of bog lemmings in the year 2040. Change-detection analyses were used to identify regions of distribution expansion and contraction during the past century and to predict regions of change over the coming decades. We also explored the associations between bog-lemming occurrence and several existing landcover models. Quantifying trends in rare species distributions at continental scales in the context of rapid climate change should help wildlife and land managers to develop adaptive strategies for listing imperiled species, to identify and conserve dispersal corridors, and to prepare for emerging and declining populations at continental scales.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am CDT
LaSalle 1 (7th Floor)