Climatic Change

, Volume 131, Issue 4, pp 621–633 | Cite as

Impact of climate change on the distribution of a giant land snail from South America: predicting future trends for setting conservation priorities on native malacofauna

  • Ariel A. Beltramino
  • Roberto E. Vogler
  • Diego E. Gutiérrez Gregoric
  • Alejandra Rumi


Many land snails are vulnerable to climate change as a consequence of small distribution ranges and poor dispersal. South America is a diverse region in terms of land snail fauna, but studies about the impacts of climate change on molluscan biodiversity are virtually nonexistent. Bioclimatic models provide an important tool to assess how habitat suitability may change in a warming planet. In this study, we examine potential impacts of climate change on a giant land snail (Megalobulimus sanctipauli) from the Atlantic Forest to predict future shifts in its potential distribution, and to identify protected areas that may contain suitable habitat for setting conservation priorities. Using a maximum entropy algorithm, we modeled the species’ potential distribution across South America under current climatic conditions and projected the results onto two climate change scenarios for two time frames. A 2.17 % of South America on the Atlantic Forest was predicted to be currently suitable for the species, comprising the border area among Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Prognosis of future distribution showed a trend to a northern retraction, but a southern expansion of current potential range. More than 150 protected areas were identified to contain climatically suitable habitat for the species, but on the less optimistic outlook only ~1545 km2 of protected areas (0.009 % of South America) would remain suitable for the species by the end of the century. Our findings are expected to improve understanding of climate change impacts on native giant land snails and to contribute in conservation efforts on this malacofauna.


Protected Area Potential Distribution Suitable Area Land Snail Future Distribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (BID–PICT–2008–2042) for funding this study. We are especially grateful to Dr. Bram Breure (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands) for providing valuable comments on an early version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10584_2015_1405_MOESM1_ESM.docx (42 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariel A. Beltramino
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberto E. Vogler
    • 2
    • 3
  • Diego E. Gutiérrez Gregoric
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alejandra Rumi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.División Zoología Invertebrados, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y MuseoUniversidad Nacional de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Químicas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de MisionesPosadasArgentina

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