Research, Connect, Protect




Impacts of global change on species distributions: obstacles and solutions to integrate climate and land use

Clélia Sirami1*†, Paul Caplat2, Simon Popy1, Alex Clamens3, Raphaël Arlettaz4,5, Frédéric Jiguet6, Lluís Brotons7,8,9 and Jean-Louis Martin1

1Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive UMR 5175 – CNRS – Université de Montpellier – Université Paul Valery Montpellier – EPHE, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293, Montpellier Cedex, France,

2Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Lund, Sweden,

3Lycée Blaise Pascal 36 Avenue Carnot, 63037, Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France,

4Division of Conservation Biology, Baltzerstrasse 6, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Bern, CH-3012, Switzerland,

5Swiss Ornithological Institute, Valais Field Station, Rue du Rhône 11, Sion CH–1950, Switzerland,

6CESCO UMR 7204 Sorbonne Universités-MNHN-CNRS-UPMC, CP135, 43 Rue Buffon 75005, Paris Cedex, France,

7InForest Jru (CEMFOR-CTFC-CREAF), Solsona 25280, Spain,8CREAF, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vall es, Spain, 9CSIC, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallés, Spain
*Correspondence: Clélia Sirami, INRA UMR1201 DYNAFOR, 31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France. E-mail:

Present address: Clélia Sirami, INRA UMR1201 DYNAFOR, 31320, Castanet-Tolosan, France

The impact of multiple stressors on biodiversity is one of the most pressing questions in ecology and biodiversity conservation. Here we critically assess how often and efficiently two main drivers of global change have been simultaneously integrated into research, with the aim of providing practical solutions for better integration in the future. We focus on the integration of climate change (CC) and land-use change (LUC) when studying changes in species distributions.
Location   Global.
Methods   We analysed the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of CC and LUC on observed changes in species distributions, i.e. including species range and abundance, between 2000 and 2014.
Results   Studies integrating CC and LUC remain extremely scarce, which hampers our ability to develop appropriate conservation strategies. The lack of CC–LUC integration is likely to be a result of insufficient recognition of the co-occurrence of CC and LUC at all scales, covariation and interactions between CC and LUC, as well as correlations between species thermal and habitat requirements. Practical guidelines for the study of these interactive effects include considering multiple drivers and processes when designing studies, using available long-term datasets on multiple drivers, revisiting single-driver studies with additional drivers or conducting comparative studies and meta-analyses. Combining various methodological approaches, including time lags and adaptation processes, represent further avenues to improve global change science.
Main conclusions   Despite repeated claims for a better integration of multiple drivers, the effects of CC and LUC on species distributions and abundances have been mostly studied in isolation, which calls for a shift of standards towards more integrative global change science. The guidelines proposed here will encourage study designs that account for multiple drivers and improve our understanding of synergies or antagonisms among drivers.

  • All
  • 2013
  • Biogeography
  • Biology
  • Chlamydia
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Ellis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Genetics
  • Habitat
  • Infection
  • Interventions
  • Koala
  • Lunney
  • Threats
  • Timms
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