Large-scale impact of climate change vs. land-use change on future biome shifts in Latin America.


Climate change and land-use change are two major drivers of biome shifts causing habitat and biodiversity loss. What is missing is a continental-scale future projection of the estimated relative impacts of both drivers on biome shifts over the course of this century. Here, we provide such a projection for the biodiverse region of Latin America under four socio-economic development scenarios. We find that across all scenarios 5-6% of the total area will undergo biome shifts that can be attributed to climate change until 2099. The relative impact of climate change on biome shifts may overtake land-use change even under an optimistic climate scenario, if land-use expansion is halted by the mid-century. We suggest that constraining land-use change and preserving the remaining natural vegetation early during this century creates opportunities to mitigate climate-change impacts during the second half of this century. Our results may guide the evaluation of socio-economic scenarios in terms of their potential for biome conservation under global change.

DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13355

Cite this paper

@article{Boit2016LargescaleIO, title={Large-scale impact of climate change vs. land-use change on future biome shifts in Latin America.}, author={Alice Boit and Boris Sakschewski and Lena R Boysen and Ana Cano-Crespo and Jan Clement and Nashieli Garcia-Alaniz and Kasper Kok and Melanie Kolb and Fanny Langerwisch and Anja Rammig and Ren{\'e} Sachse and Michiel van Eupen and Werner von Bloh and Delphine Clara Zemp and Kirsten Thonicke}, journal={Global change biology}, year={2016}, volume={22 11}, pages={3689-3701} }