Integrating biodiversity functional guild responses to land use and climate change in natural heritage system update
Urbanization continues to drive the land conversion from natural areas to urban uses dominated by impermeable surfaces. This conversion has direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem services that are critical for a sustainable and resilient ecosystem as well as human wellbeing. Habitat removal and fragmentation accelerate biodiversity loss in urban landscapes. Additionally, climate change exacerbates these impacts even further. Hence, green infrastructure is also becoming more common in urban landscapes to offset negative urbanization impacts. Here, species and habitat data in the Greater Toronto Area will be used to derive functional guilds based on their sensitivities to urbanization and climate change. Habitat suitability analysis will be conducted on each of these functional groups under current and future land use scenarios assessing changes in the landscape’s capacity to provide habitat with three climate scenarios (current, 2050, and 2080).