The increase in the average Earth’s temperature may result in important changes in the abundance and distribution of species, which could lead to the extinction of some species and reduce the diversity of ecosystems. In the Mediterranean Basin, climate change may further increase the stress over fragile ecosystems such as desert and steppe, and the pressure on water resources. Wetland-dependent species may therefore be particularly under threat.
In general, composite biodiversity indexes such as the Living Planet Index typically provide trends that depict the state of biodiversity. However, these trends cannot be directly interpreted as immediate results of specific threats, pressures or drivers. The Community Temperature Index (CTI) belongs to a new generation of indicators, which intimately combines biodiversity data with potential explanatory factors. In this case, it evaluates if change in biodiversity is directly linked to climate change.
Birds, the most studied component of biodiversity, are used as models.