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Using a suture zone to gain direct insight into the community-wide impacts of climate change

Project description

Understanding climate impact on species

As climate change is one of the biggest problems humanity faces, it is important to understand how the climate conditions species’ diversity and distributions so as to predict the impacts of anthropogenic climate change and manage its negative effects. The EU-funded COMMTACT project represents interdisciplinary research aiming to improve our knowledge about climate change consequences on species and communities, as called for by EU and world conservation and management institutions. The project will provide accurate, community-wide understanding on the genomic, demographic, spatial and temporal consequences of a changing climate to be able to predict future climate change consequences. It will combine a robust natural climate change experiment with community-wide genomic data sets, spatially explicit modelling and laboratory tests on the Spanish island of Tenerife.


COMMTACT is a novel, interdisciplinary research project that will bridge fundamental gaps in our knowledge about how species and communities are impacted by changing climates. Given the threats posed to natural ecosystems and their biodiversity, defining and predicting the impacts of anthropogenic climate change is a top priority of conservation and management organizations in the European Union and worldwide. By providing a platform for integrating the skillsets of the researcher (S. Stankowski) and supervisor (B. Emerson), COMMTACT will take a highly innovative, interdisciplinary approach to this problem. From a scientific perspective, the aim of the action is to provide detailed, community-wide insight into the genomic, demographic, spatial and temporal impacts of an altered climatic regime that can be used to predict future impacts of climate change. This will be achieved by combining a powerful natural climate change experiment on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) with an integrative work plan consisting of (i) community wide-genomic datasets, (ii) spatially-explicit modeling and analyses, and (iii) laboratory experiments. Through these methods, the action will address several untested hypotheses about how different biological factors influence species sensitivity to climate change. The results will contribute to a general understanding of how climate shapes species diversity and distributions, and will inform efforts to predict, mitigate and manage its negative effects.


Net EU contribution
€ 160 932,48
28006 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 160 932,48