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A boreal invasion in response to climate change? Range shifts and community effects in the borderland between forest and tundra.

Elmhagen B, Kindberg J, Hellström P, Angerbjörn A - Ambio (2015)

Bottom Line: However, in addition to climate warming, suggested drivers of change include land use and other anthropogenic factors.We hypothesize all these drivers interacted, primarily favoring southern generalists.Future research should aim to distinguish between effects of climate and land-use change in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, bodil.elmhagen@zoologi.su.se.

ABSTRACT
It has been hypothesized that climate warming will allow southern species to advance north and invade northern ecosystems. We review the changes in the Swedish mammal and bird community in boreal forest and alpine tundra since the nineteenth century, as well as suggested drivers of change. Observed changes include (1) range expansion and increased abundance in southern birds, ungulates, and carnivores; (2) range contraction and decline in northern birds and carnivores; and (3) abundance decline or periodically disrupted dynamics in cyclic populations of small and medium-sized mammals and birds. The first warm spell, 1930-1960, stands out as a period of substantial faunal change. However, in addition to climate warming, suggested drivers of change include land use and other anthropogenic factors. We hypothesize all these drivers interacted, primarily favoring southern generalists. Future research should aim to distinguish between effects of climate and land-use change in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Yearly temperature (1870–2002) and long-term dynamics in mountain hare, rock ptarmigan/willow ptarmigan, black grouse/capercaillie, and Norwegian lemming (1870–1966) in Västerbotten county (V). We derived yearly status of hare and grouse from qualitative descriptions in Sweden’s Official Statistics (1870–1966) for Västerbotten county or the closest reported area (gaps = no information). Yearly lemming status in Västerbotten is taken from Angerbjörn et al. (2001), who assessed qualitative information from different regions in Scandinavia. The absence of high-abundance peaks in Västerbotten 1940–1960 was well supported, while absent peaks prior to 1900 could be related to information deficiency. However, peaks may have occurred in Västerbotten prior to 1900 as some peaks are known to have occurred in adjacent Nordland (NL)
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Fig2: Yearly temperature (1870–2002) and long-term dynamics in mountain hare, rock ptarmigan/willow ptarmigan, black grouse/capercaillie, and Norwegian lemming (1870–1966) in Västerbotten county (V). We derived yearly status of hare and grouse from qualitative descriptions in Sweden’s Official Statistics (1870–1966) for Västerbotten county or the closest reported area (gaps = no information). Yearly lemming status in Västerbotten is taken from Angerbjörn et al. (2001), who assessed qualitative information from different regions in Scandinavia. The absence of high-abundance peaks in Västerbotten 1940–1960 was well supported, while absent peaks prior to 1900 could be related to information deficiency. However, peaks may have occurred in Västerbotten prior to 1900 as some peaks are known to have occurred in adjacent Nordland (NL)

Mentions: Although climate change is projected to become the primary driver of biodiversity change in Arctic and boreal ecosystems in the next century, land-use change is projected to be almost as important in the boreal biome (Sala et al. 2000). This suggests that both drivers must be taken into account to understand change in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Scandinavian mountain range runs south from the Arctic tundra, providing tundra conditions at high altitudes, but a high level of fragmentation by forested valleys creates a substantial interface between alpine tundra and boreal forest (Fig. 1). The mean temperature in Scandinavia has increased significantly since 1901, by 0.75–1.5 °C (IPCC 2013), with particularly warm periods in 1930–1950 and after 1980 (Fig. 2). However, human land use also intensified, in particular in boreal Sweden. The indigenous Sami developed an economy based on hunter/gathering, fur trade, and small-scale reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) husbandry at least one millennium ago. Reindeer-keeping practices transitioned into large-scale nomadic reindeer pastoralism in the early seventeenth century, and to extensive reindeer herding for meat production in the late nineteenth century (Lundmark 2007). In Sweden, the Sami economy was the primary land use in the north-west interior until the eighteenth century. At that time, the rate of agricultural expansion from the south and east coast increased, and agriculture reached the boreal–alpine interface in the nineteenth century (Anonymous 2006). Large-scale forestry based on selective logging of large trees developed in the mid-nineteenth century, followed by clear-cutting practices that have dominated forestry since the 1950s (Axelsson 2001). Hence, over the last 200 years, both climate and land use changed in northern Sweden.Fig. 1


A boreal invasion in response to climate change? Range shifts and community effects in the borderland between forest and tundra.

Elmhagen B, Kindberg J, Hellström P, Angerbjörn A - Ambio (2015)

Yearly temperature (1870–2002) and long-term dynamics in mountain hare, rock ptarmigan/willow ptarmigan, black grouse/capercaillie, and Norwegian lemming (1870–1966) in Västerbotten county (V). We derived yearly status of hare and grouse from qualitative descriptions in Sweden’s Official Statistics (1870–1966) for Västerbotten county or the closest reported area (gaps = no information). Yearly lemming status in Västerbotten is taken from Angerbjörn et al. (2001), who assessed qualitative information from different regions in Scandinavia. The absence of high-abundance peaks in Västerbotten 1940–1960 was well supported, while absent peaks prior to 1900 could be related to information deficiency. However, peaks may have occurred in Västerbotten prior to 1900 as some peaks are known to have occurred in adjacent Nordland (NL)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4289007&req=5

Fig2: Yearly temperature (1870–2002) and long-term dynamics in mountain hare, rock ptarmigan/willow ptarmigan, black grouse/capercaillie, and Norwegian lemming (1870–1966) in Västerbotten county (V). We derived yearly status of hare and grouse from qualitative descriptions in Sweden’s Official Statistics (1870–1966) for Västerbotten county or the closest reported area (gaps = no information). Yearly lemming status in Västerbotten is taken from Angerbjörn et al. (2001), who assessed qualitative information from different regions in Scandinavia. The absence of high-abundance peaks in Västerbotten 1940–1960 was well supported, while absent peaks prior to 1900 could be related to information deficiency. However, peaks may have occurred in Västerbotten prior to 1900 as some peaks are known to have occurred in adjacent Nordland (NL)
Mentions: Although climate change is projected to become the primary driver of biodiversity change in Arctic and boreal ecosystems in the next century, land-use change is projected to be almost as important in the boreal biome (Sala et al. 2000). This suggests that both drivers must be taken into account to understand change in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Scandinavian mountain range runs south from the Arctic tundra, providing tundra conditions at high altitudes, but a high level of fragmentation by forested valleys creates a substantial interface between alpine tundra and boreal forest (Fig. 1). The mean temperature in Scandinavia has increased significantly since 1901, by 0.75–1.5 °C (IPCC 2013), with particularly warm periods in 1930–1950 and after 1980 (Fig. 2). However, human land use also intensified, in particular in boreal Sweden. The indigenous Sami developed an economy based on hunter/gathering, fur trade, and small-scale reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) husbandry at least one millennium ago. Reindeer-keeping practices transitioned into large-scale nomadic reindeer pastoralism in the early seventeenth century, and to extensive reindeer herding for meat production in the late nineteenth century (Lundmark 2007). In Sweden, the Sami economy was the primary land use in the north-west interior until the eighteenth century. At that time, the rate of agricultural expansion from the south and east coast increased, and agriculture reached the boreal–alpine interface in the nineteenth century (Anonymous 2006). Large-scale forestry based on selective logging of large trees developed in the mid-nineteenth century, followed by clear-cutting practices that have dominated forestry since the 1950s (Axelsson 2001). Hence, over the last 200 years, both climate and land use changed in northern Sweden.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: However, in addition to climate warming, suggested drivers of change include land use and other anthropogenic factors.We hypothesize all these drivers interacted, primarily favoring southern generalists.Future research should aim to distinguish between effects of climate and land-use change in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, bodil.elmhagen@zoologi.su.se.

ABSTRACT
It has been hypothesized that climate warming will allow southern species to advance north and invade northern ecosystems. We review the changes in the Swedish mammal and bird community in boreal forest and alpine tundra since the nineteenth century, as well as suggested drivers of change. Observed changes include (1) range expansion and increased abundance in southern birds, ungulates, and carnivores; (2) range contraction and decline in northern birds and carnivores; and (3) abundance decline or periodically disrupted dynamics in cyclic populations of small and medium-sized mammals and birds. The first warm spell, 1930-1960, stands out as a period of substantial faunal change. However, in addition to climate warming, suggested drivers of change include land use and other anthropogenic factors. We hypothesize all these drivers interacted, primarily favoring southern generalists. Future research should aim to distinguish between effects of climate and land-use change in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus