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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Details

Authors
  • 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
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology

Keywords

  • global warming, goldeneye, goosander, ice cover, population, distribution, tufted duck
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-2081
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes