Cassia Foley

McGill University
Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on the Diversity of Quebec Mammals

Cassia Foley, Dr. Virginie Millien

Globally, species are facing extinction at unprecedented rates as a consequence of climate change. In response to environmental stressors associated with changing climate, species are shifting their distributions northward to track current climatic conditions. This is resulting in local species enrichment in some regions, a term known as the Northern Biodiversity Paradox. Here, using species distribution modelling, the latitudinal shift in terrestrial mammalian species richness in Quebec was examined by comparing distribution ranges under current and future (2050) predicted climatic conditions. Further, intrinsic species traits: body mass, trophic level, and diet breadth, were examined as a method of predicting the dynamic properties of distribution ranges. This study lends important insights into the promotion of biodiversity and conservation management.