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Eco-evolutionary responses of biodiversity to climate change

Publication Year


  • Norberg, Jon
  • Urban, Mark C.
  • Vellend, Mark
  • Klausmeier, Christopher A.
  • Loeuille, Nicolas
NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE Volume: 2 Issue: 10 Pages: 747-751 Published: 2012

Climate change is predicted to alter global species diversity(1), the distribution of human pathogens' and ecosystem services(3). Forecasting these changes and designing adequate management of future ecosystem services will require predictive models encompassing the most fundamental biotic responses. However, most present models omit important processes such as evolution and competition(4,5). Here we develop a spatially explicit eco-evolutionary model of multi-species responses to climate change. We demonstrate that both dispersal and evolution differentially mediate extinction risks and biodiversity alterations through time and across climate gradients. Together, high genetic variance and low dispersal best minimized extinction risks. Surprisingly, high dispersal did not reduce extinctions, because the shifting ranges of some species hastened the decline of others. Evolutionary responses dominated during the later stages of climatic changes and in hot regions. No extinctions occurred without competition, which highlights the importance of including species interactions in global biodiversity models. Most notably, climate change created extinction and evolutionary debts, with changes in species richness and traits occuring long after climate stabilization. Therefore, even if we halt anthropogenic climate change today, transient eco-evolutionary dynamics would ensure centuries of additional alterations in global biodiversity.

Author Keyword(s)
    KeyWord(s) Plus
    • NICHE
    • LIMITS
    ESI Discipline(s)
    • Environment/Ecology
    • Geosciences
    • Social Sciences
    Web of Science Category(ies)
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Environmental Studies
    • Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

    [Norberg, Jon] Stockholm Univ, Dept Syst Ecol, S-11429 Stockholm, Sweden; [Norberg, Jon] Stockholm Univ, Stockholm Resilience Ctr, S-11429 Stockholm, Sweden; [Urban, Mark C.] Univ Connecticut, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Storrs, CT 06269 USA; [Vellend, Mark] Univ Sherbrooke, Dept Biol, Sherbrooke, PQ J1K 2R1, Canada; [Klausmeier, Christopher A.] Michigan State Univ, Dept Plant Biol, Hickory Corners, MI 49060 USA; [Klausmeier, Christopher A.] Michigan State Univ, WK Kellogg Biol Stn, Hickory Corners, MI 49060 USA; [Loeuille, Nicolas] Univ Paris 06, Lab Ecol & Evolut, INRA, Ecol Populat & Communautes USC2031,UMR 7625, F-75252 Paris 05, France

    Reprint Adress

    Norberg, J (reprint author), Stockholm Univ, Dept Syst Ecol, 10697 Kraftriket 9A, S-11429 Stockholm, Sweden.

    • Canada
    • France
    • Sweden
    • United States
    CNRS - Adress(es)
    • Ecologie et évolution, UMR7625
    Accession Number
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