Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Trait-based climate vulnerability of native rodents in southwestern Mexico.

  • Author(s): Ramírez-Bautista, Arturo
  • Thorne, James H
  • Schwartz, Mark W
  • Williams, John N
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6323
Abstract

Aim

Incorporate species' trait information together with climate projections for associated habitat to assess the potential vulnerability of rodent taxa to climate change.

Location

Oaxaca State, Mexico.

Methods

We used a trait-based approach together with climate exposure models to evaluate the vulnerability of rodent species to projected climate conditions in the study region. Vulnerability was estimated based on three factors: (a) Level of climatic exposure that species are projected to experience across their current statewide range; (b) inherent species-specific sensitivity to stochastic events; and (c) species' capacity to cope with climate change effects. We defined species as inherently sensitive if they had any of the following: restricted geographic distribution in Mexico; narrow altitudinal range; low dispersal ability; or long generation length.

Results

Vulnerability varied depending on the climate change scenario applied. Under the MPI general circulation model and current emissions trends, by 2099, all species evaluated were projected to have some level of threat (vulnerable for at least one factor), with 4 out of 55 species vulnerable for all three factors, 29 for two factors, and 22 for one factor. Six out of ten rodent species endemic to Oaxaca were vulnerable for two or more factors. We found that species with narrow and restricted-range distributions combined with low adaptive capacity were projected to be particularly vulnerable.

Main conclusions

By including species-specific trait information in climate exposure assessments, researchers can contextualize and enhance their understanding about how climate change is likely to affect individual taxa in an area of interest. As such, studies like this one provide more relevant threat assessment information than exposure analyses alone and serve as a starting point for considering how climatic changes interact with an array of other variables to affect native species across their range.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View