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Predicting the effects of future climate change on the distribution of an endemic damselfly (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) in subtropical South American grasslands

Pires, Mateus Marques, Périco, Eduardo, Renner, Samuel, Sahlén, Göran
2018

Article in journal (Refereegranskat)

Abstract:

Climate change is predicted to affect the distribution of freshwater taxa, and stronger impacts are expected on endemic species. However, the effects of future climates on freshwater insects from the Neotropical region have been generally overlooked. In this study, the distribution of a damselfly (Cyanallagma bonariense, Odonata, Coenagrionidae) endemic to the subtropical South American grasslands (Pampa) was modelled in relation to future scenarios of high greenhouse gas emissions (RCP 8.5) for 2050 and 2070. For this purpose, ecological niche models were developed based on assumptions of limited dispersal and niche conservatism, and the projected distribution of C. bonariense was contrasted with the location of current protected areas (PAs) in the Pampa. A broad potential distribution of C. bonariense was indicated throughout the Pampa, and projections predicted a predominance of range contractions rather than range shifts in climatically suitable areas for C. bonariense in 2050 and 2070. Projections of suitable areas overlapped in central Argentina and southernmost Uruguay in these periods. Our results indicated a potential resilience of C. bonariense to future climate change, which is likely related to the low restrictions in habitat use of C. bonariense. In every projection, however, most PAs were expected to lose effectiveness, as by 2070 most PAs fall outside the range of the predicted distribution of C. bonariense. Thus, the creation or enlargement of PAs in these areas is recommended and these results represent an important information for the conservation of endemic freshwater insects under global warming scenarios in an overlooked Neotropical landscape. © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Key words: Aquatic insects; Ecological niche modelling; Pampa; Zygoptera; Protected areas; Species range; Habitat suitability

Cite: Pires, Mateus Marques, Périco, Eduardo, Renner, Samuel & Sahlén, Göran, Predicting the effects of future climate change on the distribution of an endemic damselfly (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) in subtropical South American grasslands, Journal of Insect Conservation., 22:2, s. 303-319, 2018