To identify and manage climatic microrefugia and stepping stones
Convened by: Kristoffer Hylander, Pieter De Frenne, Caroline Greiser
Climate change and land-use change together pose a major challenge for biodiversity conservation. Topography and vegetation can together modify local climatic conditions to be decoupled from the regional climate and function as microrefugia. Such places are repeatedly suggested to influence the resilience of organisms and ecosystems to current and future climate change (e.g. 1, 2). Species distribution models addressing climate change show that species need to shift their ranges. However, dispersal barriers, limited dispersal capacities in relation to the changes as well as time lags in e.g. soil formation might cause time lags in how well species will track the new climate (3). In this symposia we will address how physical and ecological mechanisms may affect microrefugia (4, 5) and stepping stones in different kinds of ecosystems. We will address questions such as: What are the combined threats to species by the interaction between land-use and climate change? How can we identify microrefugia and stepping stones? What is limiting species at their rear and leading distribution edges? What is the role of forest management for maintaining and creating certain microclimates? Which conservation actions could be taken to increase the ecosystem and landscape resilience to climate change? The availability of high-resolution climate data is benefitting from the availability of cheap microsensors as well as new spatial data such as high resolution digital elevation models and vegetation data. Our topical symposium is representing an emergent field and we invite researchers and policymakers interested in land-use and climate change to improve our joint understanding of this topic and to discuss solutions for management adaptations at different scales.
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 Keppel et al. 2012. Refugia: identifying and understanding safe havens for biodiversity under climate change Global Ecology and Biogeography 21:393-402
 Corlett et al. 2013. Will plant movements keep up with climate change? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 482–488.
 Mclean et al. 2017. Fine‐scale climate change: modelling spatial variation in biologically meaningful rates of warming. Global Change Biology 23:256-268
 Lenoir et al. 2017. Climatic microrefugia under anthropogenic climate change: implications for species redistribution. Ecography (in press)