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Non-analogous community formation in response to climate change

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sal Keith
  • Adrian Newton
  • Roger Herbert
  • Michael D. Morecroft
  • Clive Bealey
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal for Nature Conservation
Issue number4
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)228-235
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date4/07/09
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Palaeoecological and current ecological evidence suggests that species will respond individualistically to future climate change. This is likely to lead to the formation of Non-Analogous Communities (NACs), which may be defined as communities that are different in species composition from any communities that can be recognised at a selected reference point in time. We explore the process of NAC formation, with reference to the key processes of immigration and extinction and the potential influence of landscape pattern, in the context of a metacommunity framework. NAC formation has considerable implications for the development and implementation of conservation policies, which frequently refer to the maintenance of current communities. The achievement of such an objective represents a substantial challenge in an era of rapid environmental change, and fails to accept the dynamic nature of communities. We suggest that conservation policies should identify potential responses to community change based on an understanding of the processes of NAC formation.