Usefulness of Species Traits in Predicting Range Shifts.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Information on the ecological traits of species might improve predictions of climate-driven range shifts. However, the usefulness of traits is usually assumed rather than quantified. Here, we present a framework to identify the most informative traits, based on four key range-shift processes: emigration of individuals or propagules away from the natal location; the distance a species can move; establishment of self-sustaining populations; and proliferation following establishment. We propose a framework that categorises traits according to their contribution to range-shift processes. We demonstrate how the framework enables the predictive value of traits to be evaluated empirically and how this categorisation can be used to better understand range-shift processes; we also illustrate how range-shift estimates can be improved.


  • Alba Estrada
  • Ignacio Morales-Castilla
  • Paul Caplat
  • Regan Early
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
  • Climate Research
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Early online date2016 Jan 14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch