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Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents

Stephens, P.A.; Mason, L.R.; Green, R.E.; Gregory, R.D.; Sauer, J.R.; Alison, J.; Aunins, A.; Brotons, L.; Butchart, S.H.M.; Campedelli, T.; Chodkiewicz, T.; Chylarecki, P.; Crowe, O.; Elts, J.; Escandell, V.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Heldbjerg, H.; Herrando, S.; Husby, M.; Jiguet, F.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lindström, Å; Noble, D.G.; Paquet, J.; Reif, J.; Sattler, T.; Szép, T.; Teufelbauer, N.; Trautmann, S.; van Strien, A.J.; van Turnhout, C.A.M.; Vorisek, P.; Willis, S.G.

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L.R. Mason

R.E. Green

R.D. Gregory

J.R. Sauer

J. Alison

A. Aunins

L. Brotons

S.H.M. Butchart

T. Campedelli

T. Chodkiewicz

P. Chylarecki

O. Crowe

J. Elts

V. Escandell

R.P.B. Foppen

H. Heldbjerg

S. Herrando

M. Husby

F. Jiguet

A. Lehikoinen

Å Lindström

D.G. Noble

J. Paquet

J. Reif

T. Sattler

T. Szép

N. Teufelbauer

S. Trautmann

A.J. van Strien

C.A.M. van Turnhout

P. Vorisek


Global climate change is a major threat to biodiversity. Large-scale analyses have generally focused on the impacts of climate change on the geographic ranges of species and on phenology, the timing of ecological phenomena. We used long-term monitoring of the abundance of breeding birds across Europe and the United States to produce, for both regions, composite population indices for two groups of species: those for which climate suitability has been either improving or declining since 1980. The ratio of these composite indices, the climate impact indicator (CII), reflects the divergent fates of species favored or disadvantaged by climate change. The trend in CII is positive and similar in the two regions. On both continents, interspecific and spatial variation in population abundance trends are well predicted by climate suitability trends.


Stephens, P., Mason, L., Green, R., Gregory, R., Sauer, J., Alison, J., …Willis, S. (2016). Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents. Science, 352(6281), 84-87.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 25, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 1, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 16, 2016
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 352
Issue 6281
Pages 84-87


Accepted Journal Article (1.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on
01 Apr 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6281, pp. 84-87 DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4858.

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