Rehnus Maik

Wie wirkt sich der Klimawandel auf die Verbreitung des Schneehasen (Lepus timidus) in klimatisch unterschiedlichen Regionen der Schweiz aus? 
What is the influence of climates changes on distribution of the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in the Swiss Alps?


Project Number: CH-4819
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2013 project completed
Funding Source: WSL ,
Leading Institution: WSL
Project Leader: Dr. Maik Rehnus
WSL
Z├╝rcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf
Phone: +41 (0) 79 354 31 36 ; +41 (0) 44 739 21 11
FAX: +41 (0) 44 739 22 15
e-Mail: maik.rehnus(at)wsl.ch
http://www.wsl.ch

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.


Research Areas:
Biodiversity

Disciplines:
climatology, atmospheric physics, aeronomy
zoology


Abstract:
The mountain hare (Lepus timidus) has isolated occurrence in the Alps. Its occurrence is depending on altitude (above 1300 m a.s.l.) and its distribution seems to be influenced by continuing climate change. The mountain hare is a limited immobile species which can follow geographical shifts of their ecological niche but this migration is limited by isolated occurrence in the Alps. In our study we examine firstly how vegetation structures of the forest, shrub and field and ground layer and topographically and geographically parameters affect the occurrence of mountain hares in the Swiss Alps. Based on these results we will examine potential influence of climate change on distribution of mountain hare. Finally, we will indicate actual and future important areas for the mountain hares which can be support future conservation activities for this species.

Leading questions:
The mountain hare is well adapted to low temperatures and to cope with seasonal changes in climate and resource availability. Various studies regarding changes of species ranges associated with climate change showed that many species distributions have expanded at their cool upper elevational and latitudinal margins in conjunction with recent warming (Parmesan and Yohe 2003). Such patterns are well documented for mountain hares in its northern distribution areas (Thulin 2003) and are also assumed in the Alps. The mountain hare is a limited immobile species which can follow geographical shifts of their ecological niche but this migration is limited by isolated occurrence in the Alps. Basically for mobile and immobile species the possibility of rapid evolution or utilization of a wide spectrum of physiological tolerance may exist. If either emigration and/or adjustment cannot take place, the result will be extirpation (Holt 1990; Melillo et al. 1995).


Last update: 6/2/20
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-4819

Go Back