Gabrielle Rimok

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Patterns of biodiversity are dependent on environmental heterogeneity; that is, environmental spatial structure. The organization and configuration of a community’s environment will greatly affect its richness and diversity. In the case of amphibians, they are highly sensitive to environmental heterogeneity, especially when exacerbated by human-driven change. With amphibian populations declining world-wide, there is an immediate need to investigate the causes of these declines, some of which are associated to changes in climate. However, though community models consider climate as an important environmental predictor of species richness, diversity, and distribution, its spatial structure has not yet been considered. Thus, I propose a novel framework in which the spatial structure of climate – the spatial ecology of climates – will be used to account for the unexplained residual variation that exists in every community model. This study aims to understand how the structure of climate affects patterns of amphibian species richness and diversity. This will be done using the IUCN Rest List of threatened species distribution maps and bioclimatic variables from the WorldClim database, with the goal of furthering scientific knowledge in amphibian community ecology and enhancing current approaches in amphibian conservation.