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Data from: Planning for climate change through additions to a national protected area network: implications for cost and configuration

Citation

Lawler, Joshua et al. (2020), Data from: Planning for climate change through additions to a national protected area network: implications for cost and configuration, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jm63xsj6d

Abstract

Expanding the network of protected areas is a core strategy for conserving biodiversity in the face of climate change. Here we explore the impacts on reserve network cost and configuration associated with planning for climate change in the United States using networks that prioritize areas projected to be climatically suitable for 1,460 species both today and into the future, climatic refugia, and areas likely to facilitate climate-driven species movements. For 14% of the species, networks of sites selected solely to protect areas currently climatically suitable failed to provide climatically suitable habitat in the future. Protecting sites climatically suitable for species today and in the future significantly changed the distribution of priority sites across the U.S.—increasing relative protection in the northeast, northwest, and central U.S. Protecting areas projected to retain their climatic suitability for species cost 59% more than solely protecting currently suitable areas. Including all climatic refugia and 20% of areas that facilitate climate-driven movements increased the cost by another 18%. Our results indicate that protecting some types of climatic refugia may be a relatively inexpensive adaptation strategy. Moreover, although addressing climate change in conservation plans will have significant implications for the configuration of networks, the increased cost of doing so may be relatively modest.

 

Methods

To explore the effect of applying each of three approaches to addressing climate change on network cost and configuration, we selected five sets of networks to augment the current protected areas in the U.S. to meet five different goals. First, we selected sites to protect currently climatically suitable areas for plants and vertebrates. Second, we selected sets of sites that protected species-specific refugia. These networks protected sites that were projected to be climatically suitable for species both today and into the future. Third, we selected networks that protected currently climatically suitable areas for species and areas of potential climatic macrorefugia—locations that retain increasingly rare climatic conditions. Fourth, we selected networks that protected currently climatically suitable areas for species and areas identified as providing connectivity to facilitate climate-driven species movements (hereafter climate corridors). Finally, we selected networks that protected species-specific refugia, climatic refugia, and climate corridors (i.e., combining the second, third, and fourth goals).

Usage Notes

Data include MARXAN files as well as original data files depicting 1) projected species current and future distributions for 1460 species, projected climatic refugia, potential climatic corridors, and estimated land cost data.

Contents:
MarxanFiles.zip - contains all MARXAN input files
SpeciesProjections.zip - contains the projected current and future distributions of all species used in the study
Refugia.zip - contains raster files of projected potential climatic refugia
CostData.zip - contains raster of  estimated site costs
Corridors.zip - contains raster of corridor lengths

All compressed folders contain metadata for the files contained therein.

 

Funding

David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Award: 2011–36858

National Science Foundation, Award: CNH-0814366

Wilburforce Foundation