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Multiple dimensions of climate change on the distribution of Amazon primates

Sales, Lilian, Ribeiro, Bruno R., Chapman, Colin A., Loyola, Rafael
Perspectives in ecology and conservation 2020 v.18 no.2 pp. 83-90
Primates, biodiversity, climate change, climatic factors, deforestation, geographical distribution
Owing to climate change, species’ geographical distribution may be extended, reduced or displaced in the future. Across species’ ranges, novel climate conditions may also expose species to thermal conditions for which they are not adapted. Migration toward more suitable climates will, however, only be possible if species are able to keep pace with climate change. Here, we analyze different metrics to predict the impacts of climate change on the distribution of Amazon primates. We found that this iconic group will be exposed to novel climate conditions in a large portion of their territories and most species might not be able to track their preferred environmental conditions, even when their range is forecasted to expand. Remaining future populations are expected to become fragmented and to occupy sub-optimal conditions at the periphery of their projected bioclimatic envelopes. Our results suggest that climate change may have unprecedented impacts on Amazon biodiversity, especially for species with low dispersal ability, such as primates. In addition to deforestation, hunting, and disease spread, climate change is likely to add up to conservation-defying feedbacks for Amazon primate populations’ fitness and resilience dynamics.