Climate Velocity Can Inform Conservation in a Warming World

Isaac Brito-Morales, Jorge Garcia Molinos, David S. Schoeman, Michael T. Burrows, Elvira S. Poloczanska, Christopher J. Brown, Simon Ferrier, Tom D. Harwood, Carissa J. Klein, Eve McDonald-Madden, Philippa Moore, John M. Pandolfi, James E. M. Watson, Amelia S. Wenger, Anthony J. Richardson

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Climate change is shifting the ranges of species. Simple predictive metrics of range shifts such as climate velocity, that do not require extensive knowledge or data on individual species, could help to guide conservation. We review research on climate velocity, describing the theory underpinning the concept and its assumptions. We highlight how climate velocity has already been applied in conservation-related research, including climate residence time, climate refugia, endemism, historic and projected range shifts, exposure to climate change, and climate connectivity. Finally, we discuss ways to enhance the use of climate velocity in conservation through tailoring it to be more biologically meaningful, informing design of protected areas, conserving ocean biodiversity in 3D, and informing conservation actions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-457
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number6
Early online date30 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2018


  • climate velocity
  • climate-analog velocity
  • climate change
  • conservation
  • biodiversity


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