Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Breeding Birds in Taiwan

  • 王 文千

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) framework definition includes three dimensions: exposure is the extent to which a species exposed to future climate threats; sensitivity is the extent to which a population dynamic responds to climate change; adaptive capacity is the ability of a species to eliminate climate threats through its own adjustments such as migration and evolutionary adaptation To date many studies have used species traits to conduct CCVA however this approach may not reflect the actual state of the species to climate change While compared to temperate regions there is still a knowledge gap in the vulnerability assessment of subtropical species This study used the Taiwan Breeding Bird Survey (BBS Taiwan) the climate database of Taiwan Climate Change Projection and Information Platform Project (TCCIP) and species traits to conduct CCVA In addition we advanced the methodology of sensitivity in CCVA instead of using species traits We evaluated 83 breeding birds with sufficient data To assess exposure we used the Maximum Entropy Model (MaxEnt) to predict current and future distributions of species We used future predictions in two periods (2041-2060 and 2061-2080) and under three scenarios (RCP 2 6 4 5 and 8 5) to calculate five exposure metrics: predicted range changes (PRC) protected areas changes (PAC) shape index changes (SIC) core area index changes (CAIC) and population migration effort (PME) To evaluate sensitivity we used partial least square path modeling (PLS-PM) to distinguish whether the bird population dynamics are sensitive to climate Adaptive capacity was evaluated based on the species traits of clutch size and diet breadth The results can be divided into four categories: (1) Highly vulnerable including 13 species; (2) Potential adapters including 4 species; (3) Potential persisters including 19 species; (4) 11 species of High latent risk Compared with Taiwan National Red List only 5 species are Nationally Near-threatened (NNT) meaning that the potential threat of climate change is still largely underestimated and there is a considerable gap in conservation This study is the first CCVA of bird in low latitude of Asia and provides four categories of vulnerability need different strategy to promote the conservation of Taiwanese birds
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorI-Ching Chen (Supervisor)

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