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SFS Annual Meeting

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FUNCTIONAL AND GEOGRAPHIC COMPONENTS OF RISK AND RARITY FOR STREAM FISHES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

As climate change outpaces the rate at which climate vulnerability and risk are assessed for most taxa, multispecies assessments are needed to evaluate the vulnerability of at-risk species to climate change. Geographic rarity and functional traits can dictate species’ vulnerability to altered environments, and thus may be useful to consider in such assessments. Here, we combine geographic rarity and traits-based approaches to evaluate the intrinsic risk of native freshwater fishes across the U.S. using publicly available and standardized data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). We selected N=124 species that represented the breadth of phylogeographic regions, geographic range sizes, functional and taxonomic diversity, and conservation status. We evaluated (1) geographic rarity by quantifying area-of-occupancy at multiple spatial scales, (2) species’ climate envelopes for the range of variability, seasonality, and magnitude of key climate factors that each target species may experience, and (3) functional diversity using species’ life history and ecological traits. We evaluated uncertainty in our estimates across geographic scales and metrics of intrinsic sensitivity. This research provides the foundation for an open access decision-support tool that can be used to prioritize conservation efforts for freshwater fishes.

Jennifer Smith (Primary Presenter/Author), Virginia Tech, jensmith@vt.edu;


Abigail Benson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, albenson@usgs.gov ;


Jason Dunham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U. S. Geological Survey, jdunham@usgs.gov;


Steffany Yamada (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, sayamada@vt.edu ;


Meryl Mims (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, mims@vt.edu;