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Population responses of bird populations to climate change on two continents vary with species’ ecological traits but not with direction of change in climate suitability

Mason, Lucy R.; Green, Rhys E.; Howard, Christine; Stephens, Philip A.; Willis, Stephen G.; Aunins, Ainars; Brotons, Lluís; Chodkiewicz, Tomasz; Chylarecki, Przemysław; Escandell, Virginia; Foppen, Ruud P.B.; Herrando, Sergi; Husby, Magne; Jiguet, Frédéric; Kålås, John Atle; Lindström, Åke; Massimino, Dario; Moshøj, Charlotte; Nellis, Renno; Paquet, Jean-Yves; Reif, Jiří; Sirkiä, Päivi M.; Szép, Tibor; Florenzano, Guido Tellini; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Trautmann, Sven; van Strien, Arco; van Turnhout, Chris A.M.; Voříšek, Petr; Gregory, Richard D.

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Authors

Lucy R. Mason

Rhys E. Green

Christine Howard

Ainars Aunins

Lluís Brotons

Tomasz Chodkiewicz

Przemysław Chylarecki

Virginia Escandell

Ruud P.B. Foppen

Sergi Herrando

Magne Husby

Frédéric Jiguet

John Atle Kålås

Åke Lindström

Dario Massimino

Charlotte Moshøj

Renno Nellis

Jean-Yves Paquet

Jiří Reif

Päivi M. Sirkiä

Tibor Szép

Guido Tellini Florenzano

Norbert Teufelbauer

Sven Trautmann

Arco van Strien

Chris A.M. van Turnhout

Petr Voříšek

Richard D. Gregory



Abstract

Climate change is a major global threat to biodiversity with widespread impacts on ecological communities. Evidence for beneficial impacts on populations is perceived to be stronger and more plentiful than that for negative impacts, but few studies have investigated this apparent disparity, or how ecological factors affect population responses to climatic change. We examined the strength of the relationship between species-specific regional population changes and climate suitability trends (CST), using 30-year datasets of population change for 525 breeding bird species in Europe and the USA. These data indicate a consistent positive relationship between population trend and CST across the two continents. Importantly, we found no evidence that this positive relationship differs between species expected to be negatively and positively impacted across the entire taxonomic group, suggesting that climate change is causing equally strong, quantifiable population increases and declines. Species’ responses to changing climatic suitability varied with ecological traits, however, particularly breeding habitat preference and body mass. Species associated with inland wetlands responded most strongly and consistently to recent climatic change. In Europe, smaller species also appeared to respond more strongly, while the relationship with body mass was less clear-cut for North American birds. Overall, our results identify the role of certain traits in modulating responses to climate change and emphasise the importance of long-term data on abundance for detecting large-scale species’ responses to environmental changes.

Citation

Mason, L. R., Green, R. E., Howard, C., Stephens, P. A., Willis, S. G., Aunins, A., …Gregory, R. D. (2019). Population responses of bird populations to climate change on two continents vary with species’ ecological traits but not with direction of change in climate suitability. Climatic Change, 157(3-4), 337-354. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02549-9

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 9, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 29, 2019
Journal Climatic Change
Print ISSN 0165-0009
Electronic ISSN 1573-1480
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 157
Issue 3-4
Pages 337-354
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02549-9

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.





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