Using population viability analysis to predict the effects of climate change on the extinction risk of an endangered limestone endemic shrub, Arizona cliffrose
Abbreviated Journal Title
drought; endangered species; global warming; population viability; analysis; Purshia subintegra; SOUTHWESTERN UNITED-STATES; DESERT SHRUBS; FIRE; LANDSCAPE; DROUGHT; BIODIVERSITY; RECRUITMENT; VEGETATION; DEMOGRAPHY; EVOLUTION; Biodiversity Conservation; Ecology; Environmental Sciences
The threat of global warming to rare species is a growing concern, yet few studies have predicted its effects on rare populations. Using demographic data gathered in both drought and nondrought years between 1996-2003 in central Arizona upper Sonoran Desert, we modeled population viability for the federally endangered Purshia subintegra (Kearney) Henrickson (Arizona cliffrose). We used deterministic matrix projection models and stochastic models simulating weather conditions during our study, given historical weather variation and under scenarios of increased aridity. Our models suggest that the P subintegra population in Verde Valley is slowly declining and will be at greater risk of extinction with increased aridity. Across patches at a fine spatial scale, demographic performance was associated with environmental factors. Moist sites (patches with the highest soil moisture, lowest sand content, and most northern aspects) had the highest densities, highest seedling recruitment, and highest risk of extinction over the shortest time span. Extinction risk in moist sites was exacerbated by higher variance in recruitment and mortality. Dry sites had higher cumulative adult survival and lower extinction risk but negative growth rates. Steps necessary for the conservation of the species include introductions at more northern latitudes and in situ manipulations to enhance seedling recruitment and plant survival. We demonstrate that fine spatial-scale modeling is necessary to predict where patches with highest extinction risk or potential refugia for rare species may occur. Because current climate projections for the 21st century imply range shifts at rates of 300 to 500 km/century, which are beyond even exceptional examples of shifts in the fossil record of 100-150 km, it is likely that preservation of many rare species will require human intervention and a long-term commitment. Global warming conditions are likely to reduce the carrying capacity of many rare species' habitats.
"Using population viability analysis to predict the effects of climate change on the extinction risk of an endangered limestone endemic shrub, Arizona cliffrose" (2006). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 6409.