Computational Ecology and Software, 2015, 5(1): 63-68
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Incorporating climatic change into ecological connectivity: Climatic Flow Connectivity

Alessandro Ferrarini
Department of Evolutionary and Functional Biology, University of Parma, Via G. Saragat 4, I-43100 Parma, Italy

Received 6 November 2014;Accepted 10 December 2014;Published online 1 March 2015

There's an urgent need of theoretical and methodological tools to predict how much and how climate change will impact animal movements. In fact, conservation planning aimed to facilitate species movement in the face of climate change strictly requires realistic predictions of where species will likely move to reach suitable climates, and through which suitable routes such biotic shifts will happen. Climatic Flow Connectivity is introduced here with such purpose. Climatic Flow Connectivity calculates the spatial divergence due to climate change of the biotic flow with respect to the inertial biotic flow (i.e. where no climate change is considered) over landscape. So doing, Climatic Flow Connectivity not only predicts the most likely biotic routes imposed by climatic change to one species, but also estimates the impact of climate change in terms of spatial divergence and differential shift effort with respect to the inertial (no climate change) scenario. Climatic Flow Connectivity takes advantage of the previously introduced Flow Connectivity, and it comes with the software Connectivity Lab whose outputs are the vectors of the faunal (inertial and climatic) movement plus the statistics of the movement (inertial and climatic) efforts.

Keywords biotic flows;climatic change;dynamic GIS;flow connectivity;gene flow;landscape connectivity;species dispersal..

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