Analysis of the impacts of global warming on european bat species’s range area in the 21st century using regional climate model simulation

Júlia Anna Nagy, Judit Bartholy, Rita Pongrácz, Ildikó Pieczka, Hajnalka Breuer, Levente Hufnagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Due to the projected climate change, the living territory of wild animals may be reshaped in the future, some of the species may even suffer extinction. The aim of this research is to make a comparative case study for the future predictions of the European terrestrial mammals’ vulnerability to the climate change, by using their current range area maps (on the basis of The Atlas of the European Mammals). To characterize the climate indicators of the animals, we use the annual means and/or extremes of four climatic parameters (daily mean temperature, daily minimum temperature, daily maximum temperature, daily precipitation sum) based on the gridded E-OBS dataset for 1961-1990. Then, we determine specific percentiles of the climatic parameters for given species. The range area within the specific climatic intervals formed by the selected percentile pairs are mapped for the recent past (1961- 1990), and also for the middle (2021-2050) and the end (2071-2100) of the 21st century using the RACMO (Regional Atmospheric Climate Model) simulation for the SRES A1B scenario. Our results suggest that, the optimal climatic requirements of the Pipistrellus pipistrellus may decrease and shift northward until the end of the 21st century. Moreover, this anaysis based on the climate indicator profile technique suggests a remarkable change in the habitats of all studied European bat species, and their northward migration in order to find their optimal conditions. As a result, from the recent past time period of 1961-1990, 63% of the studied European bat species will probably suffer habitat decrease, while 30% are likely to experience habitat increase, and 7% is projected to disappear by the end of the 21st century. Due to the projected regional climate change in Europe, habitat loss and degradation are the greatest threats to the studied bat species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-301
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Bat species
  • Ecology
  • Mammals
  • Migration
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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