Correlates of vulnerability to climate-induced distribution changes in European avifauna: habitat, migration and endemism

Goodenough, Anne E ORCID: 0000-0002-7662-6670 and Hart, Adam G ORCID: 0000-0002-4795-9986 (2013) Correlates of vulnerability to climate-induced distribution changes in European avifauna: habitat, migration and endemism. Climatic Change, 118 (3-4). pp. 659-669. doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0688-x

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Accelerated climatic change will alter species’ distributions substantially by the end of the 21st Century and studies modeling distribution change using Climatic Envelope Modeling (CEM) are increasingly crucial for understanding long-term biotic implications of climate change. However, most CEM studies generate either all-species means, which are of limited practical use, or copious species-specific predictions that make it hard to draw general conclusions about those groups most vulnerable. Intermediate analyses that are half way between these two extremes are necessary to establish the relative vulnerability of species to change based on factors that can be related directly to policy and practice, including habitat associations and ecological traits such as endemism and migration status. Here we use species-specific CEM data to analyse changes in geographical distribution, range size, and overlap between current and potential ranges, for all 431 bird species breeding regularly in Europe. Future range sizes are predicted to be 80 % of current range sizes, with an average overlap of 39 %. However, we show that change varies significantly according to habitat, current range size, and endemism status, with no differences according to migration status. Coastal, wetland and upland birds will be significantly worse off under CEM scenarios than birds associated with woodland, farmland and heathland, while urban birds and those using multiple habitats doing best. Birds with small ranges show more severe, and spatially more complex, distribution shifts. The identification of species groups most vulnerable to climate change means that CEM predictions can now be used to inform policy and management, especially where initiatives are based on species grouped according to such variables or where habitat-specific policies are in place.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anne Goodenough
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 13:05
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:59

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