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ZANIN, MARINA; TESSAROLO, GEIZIANE; MACHADO, NATHÁLIA  and  ALBERNAZ, ANA LUISA M.. Climatically-mediated landcover change: impacts on Brazilian territory. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2017, vol.89, n.2, pp.939-952.  Epub May 22, 2017. ISSN 0001-3765.

In the face of climate change threats, governments are drawing attention to policies for mitigating its effects on biodiversity. However, the lack of distribution data makes predictions at species level a difficult task, mainly in regions of higher biodiversity. To overcome this problem, we use native landcover as a surrogate biodiversity, because it can represent specialized habitat for species, and investigate the effects of future climate change on Brazilian biomes. We characterize the climatic niches of native landcover and use ecological niche modeling to predict the potential distribution under current and future climate scenarios. Our results highlight expansion of the distribution of open vegetation and the contraction of closed forests. Drier Brazilian biomes, like Caatinga and Cerrado, are predicted to expand their distributions, being the most resistant to climate change impacts. However, these would also be affected by losses of their closed forest enclaves and their habitat-specific or endemic species. Replacement by open vegetation and overall reductions are a considerable risk for closed forest, threatening Amazon and Atlantic forest biomes. Here, we evidence the impacts of climate change on Brazilian biomes, and draw attention to the necessity for management and attenuation plans to guarantee the future of Brazilian biodiversity.

Keywords : Climate change; Brazil; ecological niche modeling; native landcover; biomes.

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