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Preliminary Global Assessment of Terrestrial Biodiversity Consequences of Sea-level Rise Mediated by Climate Change
Biodiversity and Conservation (2010)
  • Shaily Menon, Grand Valley State University
  • Jorge Soberon, University of Kansas Main Campus
  • Xingong Li, University of Kansas Main Campus
  • A. Townsend Peterson, University of Kansas Main Campus
Considerable attention has focused on the climatic effects of global climate change on biodiversity, but few analyses and no broad assessments have evaluated effects of sea-level rise on biodiversity. Taking advantage of new maps of marine intrusion under scenarios of 1 and 6 m sea-level rise, we calculated areal losses for all terrestrial ecoregions globally, with areal losses for particular ecoregions ranging from nil to complete. Marine intrusion is a global phenomenon, but its effects are most prominent in Southeast Asia and nearby islands, eastern North America, northeastern South America, and western Alaska. Making assumptions regarding faunal responses to reduced distributional areas of species endemic to ecoregions, we estimated likely numbers of extinctions caused by sea-level rise, and found that marine-intrusion-caused extinctions of narrow endemics are likely to be most prominent in northeastern South America, although anticipated extinctions in smaller numbers are scattered worldwide. This assessment serves as a complement to recent estimates of losses owing to changing climatic conditions, considering a dimension of biodiversity consequences of climate change that has not previously been taken into account.
  • climate change,
  • sea-level change,
  • marine intrusion,
  • biodiversity,
  • ecoregions,
  • endemic species,
  • extinction,
  • climatic changes
Publication Date
Winter February 25, 2010
Citation Information
Shaily Menon, Jorge Soberon, Xingong Li and A. Townsend Peterson. "Preliminary Global Assessment of Terrestrial Biodiversity Consequences of Sea-level Rise Mediated by Climate Change" Biodiversity and Conservation (2010)
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