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Subsidiënt: Silvia Espinosa Ruiz / Wageningen Universiteit
Subsidie: 192.64

Understanding the role that climate change will have on nature is vital in order to plan conservation strategies to minimise species extinctions and to prioritise action. Endemic plant species represent a priority given that they have restricted distributions that may be subject of substantial impact from a changing climate. In this study the exposure of countries to projected changes in temperature and precipitation was estimated and data on the number of endemic species per country was incorporated, to identify which countries represent a priority for plant conservation under climate change. Seven General Circulation Models (GCMs) were used to project climate change under four different scenarios, combining two different emissions trajectories and two time horizons. Countries rich in endemic plants and highly exposed to climate change were identified as priority. In a case study, exposure of Australian endemic species to climate change was estimated. Countries will be exposed to the strongest climate change under a business as usual emissions trajectory (RCP8.5) in the long-term (2070). Six countries (Bolivia, Venezuela, France, India, Turkey and Spain) were considered high priority countries: they have more than 1500 endemic plants and are exposed to the strongest changes in both temperature and precipitation, and other 16 countries were identified as priority. These 22 countries host the 43% of the global endemic flora and they need to urgently implement conservation actions such as doing vulnerability assessments, enhancing connectivity, creating protected areas and doing ex-situ conservation.