ReviewAPPLIED ECOLOGY

Improvements in reports of species redistribution under climate change are required

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Science Advances  07 Apr 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 15, eabe1110
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe1110
  • Fig. 1 Geographic and taxonomic coverage of climate related range shifts studies.

    (A) Geographical coverage across terrestrial and marine realms with 82% of the studies being in the Northern Hemisphere while 80.4% covering terrestrial ecosystems. (B) Taxonomic coverage with ≤2% including studies with amphibians, insects, reptiles, algae, crustaceans, and mollusca; 2.3% including fish; 2.9% mammals; and 23.47% birds.

  • Fig. 2 The quality assessment in climate-related range shifts reports.

    (A) The proportion of reports for six subcriteria. The plot shows the proportion of each study met each criterion (C.1 and C.2, pattern detection; C.3 and C.4, attribution; and C.5 and C.6, reproducibility). (B) Assessed quality of the reports of species redistribution under climate change across marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Shows the geographical distribution of studies investigating climate change effects on species distributions ranked by the overall (median) benchmark score achieved through summation of individual ranks in the three evaluation criteria. Values in the map range from 1 (only one of the evaluation subcriteria met) to 4 (four of the evaluation subcriteria met). Higher scores are colored green and lower scores are colored violet. (C) Sum of the evaluation subcriteria in each continent. Shows the number of evaluation subcriteria met by each study across continents.

  • Fig. 3 Cross-examination of the subcriteria used to evaluate reports of species redistribution under climate change.

    Shows the multiple overlapping among the three main criteria. Each circle corresponds to one of the main evaluation criteria. The size of the circles represents the number of reports met each main criterion (pattern detection, causality, and reproducibility). The Reuleaux triangle in the center shows the intersection between three circles, and it means only 4.5% (n = 11) of the studies met these three main criteria.

  • Fig. 4 Distribution of studies by evaluation subcriteria over time.

    Shows a general trend of improvement of reports of climate-related range shifts over time across the six subcriteria. Higher values in the y axis mean that more of the established evaluation criteria were met.

  • Table 1 Checklist used to measure the strength of evidence about species distributional shifts and their link with climate.

    Evaluation criteria
    Question of interest: Are distributional changes different from that expected in the absence of major external drivers, that is, by chance?
    I. Pattern detection
    a. Are range changes analyzed simultaneously across all possible directions of change? Yes = 1, No = 0
    b. If so, are the obtained results compared against a null model expectation enabling distinguishing the observed patterns from chance expectation? Yes = 1, No = 0
    Question of interest: Are potential causal factors rather than temperature examined in equal footing?
    II. Attribution
    a. Are explanatory causes of range changes investigated? Yes = 1, No = 0
    b. If so, are alternative causal explanations compared on equal footing? Yes = 1, No = 0
    Question of interest: Are distributional changes described with sufficient details to enable replication and reanalysis of the results?
    III. Reproducibility
    a. Are results presented for each individual species? Yes = 1, No = 0
    b. If not, is variation among range dynamics of different sets of species described? Yes = 1, No = 0

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