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Reference: Shobha Maharaj, (2011). The impact of climate change on the small island developing states of the Caribbean. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


The impact of climate change on the small island developing states of the Caribbean

Abstract: Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean are one of the world’s‘hottest’ ‘biodiversity hotspots’. However, this biodiversity continues to be threatenedby habitat loss, and now, by climate change.The research reported here investigated the potential of species distributionmodelling (SDM) as a plant conservation tool within Caribbean SIDS, usingTrinidad as a case study. Prior to the application of SDM, ancillary analysesincluding: (i) quantification and mapping of forest cover change (1969 to 2007)and deforestation rates, and (ii) assessment of the island’s vegetation communitydistribution and associated drivers were carried out.Community distribution and commercial importance and global/regional raritywere used to generate a list of species for assessing the potential of SDM withinTrinidad. Species occurrence data were used to generate species distributionmodels for present climate conditions within the SDM algorithm, MaxEnt. Theseresults were assessed through expert appraisal and concurrence with results ofecological analyses. These models were used to forecast suitable species climatespace forty years into an SRES A2 future. Present and future models were thencombined to produce a ‘collective change map’ which showed projected areas ofspecies’ range expansion, contraction or stability for this group of species withrespect to Trinidad’s Protected Areas (PAs) network.Despite the models being indicative rather than accurate, it was concludedthat species’ climate space is likely to decrease or disappear across Trinidad.Extended beyond Trinidad into the remainder of the Caribbean region, SDM maybe a crucial tool in identifying which PAs within the region (and not individualislands) will facilitate future survival of given target species. Consideration ofspecies conservation from a regional, rather than an individual island perspective,is strongly recommended for aiding the Caribbean SIDS to adapt in response toclimate change.

Digital Origin:Born digital Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:This thesis is not currently available via ORA.


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 Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 2011

Copyright Date: 2012 Identifiers

Urn: uuid:914cc340-83e1-4ea4-b985-fe863b1dea7d Item Description

Type: thesis;

Language: en Keywords: Species Distribution Modelling MaxEnt climate change Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Protected Areas Network forest cover biodiversitySubjects: Environment Biodiversity Climate systems and policy Environmental change Botanical sciences (see Plant sciences) Tiny URL: ora:6220


Author: Shobha Maharaj - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyMathematical,Physical and Life Sciences Division - Plant Sciences oxfordC



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