Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability for Rare Illinois Plants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Illinois is home to approximately 2,107 native plant species of which about 16 percent are considered threatened or endangered.In addition to the common threats associated with the decline of these species, climate change cannot be ignored.Climate change predictions associated with Illinois have estimated that the conditions in Illinois will resemble present-day summers in Texas by mid to late century.Using the NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) tool we evaluated the climate change vulnerability for 331 rare plant species.Overall, we found that over 50% of Illinois rare plants are vulnerable to climate change.Barriers to migration are a leading factor associated with vulnerability in Illinois, where 97% of listed species are affected by anthropogenic barriers and 24% are affected by natural barriers.The sensitivity of species to changes in temperature, precipitation, and hydrology are also associated with vulnerability.This study provides insights into the most vulnerable plant species in Illinois and provides much needed informationto land managers, policy makers, and researchers. The information on vulnerability to climate change could aid in prioritization of limited resources and development of adaptation strategies for vulnerable species.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication110TH ISAS ANNUAL MEETING
StatePublished - 2018


  • INHS


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