Aim: To assess the extent of the possible future conflict between skiing and biodiversity driven by climate change, human adaptation and species' distribution shifts. Location: Italian Alps. Methods: We assessed the extent of the possible future conflict between skiing and biodiversity by predicting locations likely to be suitable for both skiing and for high-elevation birds in the Italian Alps by modelling ski-piste and species presence in relation to climate, topography and habitat. Potential conflict was assessed by comparing the overlap of areas projected as suitable for skiing and those suitable for four high-elevation bird species under different scenarios of climate change for the year 2050. Results: Areas suitable for both ski-pistes and birds were projected to contract towards upper elevations, which for birds resulted in an average decrease of 58–67% of suitable area. The degree of overlap between species and skiing was projected to increase, especially for the most valuable sites, that is, those hosting the most species, or the most threatened species. Main conclusions: Given the alarming range contractions forecast for high-elevation species, and the potential impact of ski-pistes on those species, it is essential to safeguard high-mountain grasslands against negative effects of ski development. An effective conservation strategy at a landscape scale needs to consider prevention of ski-piste construction in sites of high conservation value. The approach developed here provides a means by which such a strategy could be formulated, and which could be potentially applied elsewhere to investigate the effect of human adaptation on biodiversity.

Climate change will increase the potential conflict between skiing and high-elevation bird species in the Alps / M. Brambilla, P. Pedrini, A. Rolando, D.E. Chamberlain. - In: JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 0305-0270. - 43:11(2016 Nov), pp. 2299-2309. [10.1111/jbi.12796]

Climate change will increase the potential conflict between skiing and high-elevation bird species in the Alps

M. Brambilla
Primo
;
2016-11

Abstract

Aim: To assess the extent of the possible future conflict between skiing and biodiversity driven by climate change, human adaptation and species' distribution shifts. Location: Italian Alps. Methods: We assessed the extent of the possible future conflict between skiing and biodiversity by predicting locations likely to be suitable for both skiing and for high-elevation birds in the Italian Alps by modelling ski-piste and species presence in relation to climate, topography and habitat. Potential conflict was assessed by comparing the overlap of areas projected as suitable for skiing and those suitable for four high-elevation bird species under different scenarios of climate change for the year 2050. Results: Areas suitable for both ski-pistes and birds were projected to contract towards upper elevations, which for birds resulted in an average decrease of 58–67% of suitable area. The degree of overlap between species and skiing was projected to increase, especially for the most valuable sites, that is, those hosting the most species, or the most threatened species. Main conclusions: Given the alarming range contractions forecast for high-elevation species, and the potential impact of ski-pistes on those species, it is essential to safeguard high-mountain grasslands against negative effects of ski development. An effective conservation strategy at a landscape scale needs to consider prevention of ski-piste construction in sites of high conservation value. The approach developed here provides a means by which such a strategy could be formulated, and which could be potentially applied elsewhere to investigate the effect of human adaptation on biodiversity.
alpine grassland; bird conservation; global warming; human adaptation; mountain; ski-piste
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
25-mag-2016
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/905301
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