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Rapid climate driven shifts in wintering distributions of three common waterbird species

Author:
  • Aleksi Lehikoinen
  • Kim Jaatinen
  • Anssi V. Vahatalo
  • Preben Clausen
  • Olivia Crowe
  • Bernard Deceuninckk
  • Richard Hearn
  • Chas A. Holt
  • Menno Hornman
  • Verena Keller
  • Leif Nilsson
  • Tom Langendoen
  • Irena Tomankova
  • Johannes Wahl
  • Anthony D. Fox
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 2071-2081
Publication/Series: Global Change Biology
Volume: 19
Issue: 7
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Climate change is predicted to cause changes in species distributions and several studies report margin range shifts in some species. However, the reported changes rarely concern a species' entire distribution and are not always linked to climate change. Here, we demonstrate strong north-eastwards shifts in the centres of gravity of the entire wintering range of three common waterbird species along the North-West Europe flyway during the past three decades. These shifts correlate with an increase of 3.8 degrees C in early winter temperature in the north-eastern part of the wintering areas, where bird abundance increased exponentially, corresponding with decreases in abundance at the south-western margin of the wintering ranges. This confirms the need to re-evaluate conservation site safeguard networks and associated biodiversity monitoring along the flyway, as new important wintering areas are established further north and east, and highlights the general urgency of conservation planning in a changing world. Range shifts in wintering waterbirds may also affect hunting pressure, which may alter bag sizes and lead to population-level consequences.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • global warming
  • goldeneye
  • goosander
  • ice cover
  • population
  • distribution
  • tufted duck

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1354-1013
Leif Nilsson
E-mail: leif.nilsson [at] biol.lu.se

Professor emeritus

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 37 09

+46 70 525 57 09

E-C253

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden