Battle or synergy of the “changes”? Land use/land cover change versus climate change

Effects of including land use/land change in climate change vulnerability assessments

Historically, climate change vulnerability assessments have been just that–assessments of how species are expected to be affected by climate change. Nonetheless, even if anthropogenic climate were not occurring, Earth would still be in the throes of a human-generated mass extinction, mostly due to how we have altered land cover and used land-based resources. In our new paper in Landscape Ecology, we highlight how land use/land change has been incorporated into climate change vulnerability assessments (independently or interactively) and how this affects the outcome of these assessments.

Figure: How including land use/land change into climate change vulnerability assessments affects the outcome of such assessments.

Santos, M.J., Smith, A.B., Dekker, S.C., Eppinga, M.B., Leitão, P.J., Moreno-Mateo, D., Morueta-Holme, N., and Ruggieri, M. In press. The role of land use and land cover change in climate change vulnerability assessments of biodiversity: a systematic review. Landscape Ecology * Equal contribution. [open access]