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Large-scale climatic drivers of regional winter bird population trends

Lehikoinen, Aleksi LU ; Foppen, Ruud P B; Heldbjerg, Henning; Lindström, Åke LU ; van Manen, Willem; Piirainen, Sirke; van Turnhout, Chris A M and Butchart, Stuart H M (2016) In Diversity and Distributions 22(11). p.1163-1173
Abstract

Aim: Changes in climate and land use practices have been found to affect animal populations in different parts of the world. These studies have typically been conducted during the breeding season, whereas the non-breeding season (hereafter ‘winter’) has received much less attention. Changes in regional winter abundances could be caused by changes in overall population sizes and/or redistribution of populations. We tested these mechanisms for terrestrial winter bird population changes in Northern Europe and explored the role of climate change and species habitat preference. Location: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Methods: We used winter bird counts from four countries conducted annually between 15 December and 20 January in... (More)

Aim: Changes in climate and land use practices have been found to affect animal populations in different parts of the world. These studies have typically been conducted during the breeding season, whereas the non-breeding season (hereafter ‘winter’) has received much less attention. Changes in regional winter abundances could be caused by changes in overall population sizes and/or redistribution of populations. We tested these mechanisms for terrestrial winter bird population changes in Northern Europe and explored the role of climate change and species habitat preference. Location: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Methods: We used winter bird counts from four countries conducted annually between 15 December and 20 January in 1980/1981–2013/2014. We report national population trends for 50 species for which a trend could be calculated in at least three of the countries. We analysed country-specific population growth rates in relation to species’ climatic summer and winter niches, habitat preference and migratory behaviour. Results: Species breeding in colder (typically northern) areas showed more negative winter population trends than species breeding in warmer areas. Regional winter population trends were negatively correlated with characteristics of their winter climatic niche: populations in the colder part of their winter distribution increased in abundance, whereas populations in the warmer part of their winter distribution decreased. Woodland species tended to do better than farmland species. Migratory behaviour did not explain variation in population trends. Main conclusions: The generally decreasing winter population trends of cold-dwelling breeding species probably reflect the general decline in population sizes of these species. In contrast, increasing winter population trends for populations in the colder parts of the winter distribution indicate a redistribution of wintering individuals towards the north-east. Both these patterns are likely caused by climate change.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
farmland, forest, global warming, management actions, monitoring, spatio-temporal changes
in
Diversity and Distributions
volume
22
issue
11
pages
11 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84991249455
  • wos:000385552300008
ISSN
1366-9516
DOI
10.1111/ddi.12480
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9f8638fb-a884-4c4a-9615-04a271cbbdb1
date added to LUP
2016-10-31 08:08:13
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:21:13
@article{9f8638fb-a884-4c4a-9615-04a271cbbdb1,
  abstract     = {<p>Aim: Changes in climate and land use practices have been found to affect animal populations in different parts of the world. These studies have typically been conducted during the breeding season, whereas the non-breeding season (hereafter ‘winter’) has received much less attention. Changes in regional winter abundances could be caused by changes in overall population sizes and/or redistribution of populations. We tested these mechanisms for terrestrial winter bird population changes in Northern Europe and explored the role of climate change and species habitat preference. Location: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Methods: We used winter bird counts from four countries conducted annually between 15 December and 20 January in 1980/1981–2013/2014. We report national population trends for 50 species for which a trend could be calculated in at least three of the countries. We analysed country-specific population growth rates in relation to species’ climatic summer and winter niches, habitat preference and migratory behaviour. Results: Species breeding in colder (typically northern) areas showed more negative winter population trends than species breeding in warmer areas. Regional winter population trends were negatively correlated with characteristics of their winter climatic niche: populations in the colder part of their winter distribution increased in abundance, whereas populations in the warmer part of their winter distribution decreased. Woodland species tended to do better than farmland species. Migratory behaviour did not explain variation in population trends. Main conclusions: The generally decreasing winter population trends of cold-dwelling breeding species probably reflect the general decline in population sizes of these species. In contrast, increasing winter population trends for populations in the colder parts of the winter distribution indicate a redistribution of wintering individuals towards the north-east. Both these patterns are likely caused by climate change.</p>},
  author       = {Lehikoinen, Aleksi and Foppen, Ruud P B and Heldbjerg, Henning and Lindström, Åke and van Manen, Willem and Piirainen, Sirke and van Turnhout, Chris A M and Butchart, Stuart H M},
  issn         = {1366-9516},
  keyword      = {farmland,forest,global warming,management actions,monitoring,spatio-temporal changes},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1163--1173},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Diversity and Distributions},
  title        = {Large-scale climatic drivers of regional winter bird population trends},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12480},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2016},
}