Joshua Lawler (1), John Withey (2), Scott Rinnan (3), Jenny McGuire (4), Julia Michalak (5),David Roberts (6)
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, USA, email@example.com
3 School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
4 School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, email@example.com
5 School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is now well recognized that conservation planning that does not account for the costs of conservation, threats to conservation targets, and currently protected lands can be at best inefficient, and at worst, ineffective. It is also clear that spatial planning based on the current distribution of biota may fail to protect biodiversity in the face of relatively rapid climate change. Here, we explore the effect of incorporating potential climate impacts into a return-‐on-‐investment analysis for conserving biota in the coterminous United States. We perform two spatial prioritizations—both accounting for land costs and the threat of land conversion, but only one that accounts for climate change. We used three different types of information to address climate change. First, we used maps of potential climatic refugia based on projected locations of future analogous climates within a given dispersal distance. Second, we integrated areas of connectivity sited to address climate change. Finally, we used projected future potential distributions of all of the plant, bird, mammal, amphibian, and reptile species included in the study. Our initial results indicate that addressing climate change will result in a marked shift in the distribution of conservation priorities.