Climate-induced range overlap among closely related species


Krosby, M., Wilsey, C., Duggan, J., Heinrichs, J., McGuire, J., Nogeire, T., Lawler, J., and J. Tewksbury. 2015.
Climate-induced range overlap among closely related species. Nature Climate Change 5,883–886:10.1038/nclimate2699


Contemporary climate change is causing large shifts in biotic distributions, which has the potential to bring previously isolated, closely related species into contact. This has led to concern that hybridization and competition could threaten species persistence. Here, we use bioclimatic models to show that future range overlap by the end of the century is predicted for only 6.4% of isolated, congeneric species pairs of New World birds, mammals and amphibians. Projected rates of climate-induced overlap are higher for birds (11.6%) than for mammals (4.4%) or amphibians (3.6%). As many species will have difficulty tracking shifting climates, actual rates of future overlap are likely to be far lower, suggesting that hybridization and competition impacts may be relatively modest.