Iwamura T, A Guisan, KA Wilson and HP Possingham (2013) How robust are global conservation priorities to climate change?. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS 23(5):1277-1284

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International conservation organisations have identified priority areas for biodiversity conservation. These global-scale prioritisations affect the distribution of funds for conservation interventions. As each organisation has a different focus, each prioritisation scheme is determined by different decision criteria and the resultant priority areas vary considerably. However, little is known about how the priority areas will respond to the impacts of climate change. In this paper, we examined the robustness of eight global-scale prioritisations to climate change under various climate predictions from seven global circulation models. We developed a novel metric of the climate stability for 803 ecoregions based on a recently introduced method to estimate the overlap of climate envelopes. The relationships between the decision criteria and the robustness of the global prioritisation schemes were statistically examined. We found that decision criteria related to level of endemism and landscape fragmentation were strongly correlated with areas predicted to be robust to a changing climate. Hence, policies that prioritise intact areas due to the likely cost efficiency, and assumptions related to the potential to mitigate the impacts of climate change, require further examination. Our findings will help determine where additional management is required to enable biodiversity to adapt to the impacts of climate change. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.