Ecosystem Vulnerability to Climate Change in Panama
Track: Ecology and Conservation
Author(s): Eric Anderson, Laura Tremblay-Boyer

This is a compilation and analysis of GIS data in order to create an index of vulnerability to climate change for each ecosystem in Panama. Considering the knowledge obtained from a lengthy literature review in order to understand the dynamics of ecosystems, four domains were considered in this analysis: sea level rise, ecosystem geometry, climatic 'space,' and species sensitivity. Combining these four domains to obtain the overall EVCC index highlighted patches with high vulnerability in all domains. The most vulnerable patches were almost all along coastlines (heavily concentrated in Bocas del Toro and the Gulf of Chiriquí coasts) lowland and swampy forests, occasionally flooded forests, mangroves, and small islands. This was a preliminary attempt to identify ecosystem vulnerability to climate change--results are not definitive and carry uncertainty, but an index like this has flexibility. It is important that this research be continued so that conservation objectives can be met.

Eric Anderson
Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC)
Apartado postal: 0843-03102
Panamá , Panamá 00000
Phone: (507) 317-3222
E-mail: eric.anderson@cathalac.org

Laura Tremblay-Boyer
Sea Around Us Project
Fisheries Centre, Aquatic Ecosystems Resarch Laboratory (AERL), The University of British Columbia
2020 Main Mall
Vancouver , British Columbia V6T 1Z4
Phone: 1 (604) 822-1639
E-mail: l.boyer@fisheries.ubc.ca