In the past decade, a growing number of studies have modeled the effects of climate change on large numbers of species across diverse focal regions. Many common points emerge from these studies, but it can be difficult to understand the consequences for conservation when data for large numbers of species are summarized. Here we use an in-depth example, the multispecies modeling effort that has been conducted for the proteas of the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa, to illustrate lessons learned in this and other multispecies modeling efforts. Modeling shows that a substantial number of species may lose all suitable range and many may lose all representation in protected areas as a result of climate change, while a much larger number may experience major loss in the amount of their range that is protected. The spatial distribution of protected areas, particularly between lowlands and uplands, is an important determinant of the likely conservation consequences of climate change.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3