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Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

Flousek J, Telenský T, Hanzelka J, Reif J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes.We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes.Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Krkonoše National Park Administration, Dobrovského 3, CZ-543 01, Vrchlabí, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relationships between long-term population trends of birds breeding in the Giant Mountains and their predictors.The trends were estimated for the time period 1984–2011 and are significantly related to (a) mean altitude of breeding occurrence at beginning of the monitoring period (the higher the value, the higher altitude a given species uses for breeding) and (b) migration strategy (the higher the value, the longer migration route a given species takes) as revealed by the linear main effects model (see text for more details on particular variables and the model). The plots show pure effects of the focal variables after controlling for the effects of all other traits.
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pone.0139465.g002: Relationships between long-term population trends of birds breeding in the Giant Mountains and their predictors.The trends were estimated for the time period 1984–2011 and are significantly related to (a) mean altitude of breeding occurrence at beginning of the monitoring period (the higher the value, the higher altitude a given species uses for breeding) and (b) migration strategy (the higher the value, the longer migration route a given species takes) as revealed by the linear main effects model (see text for more details on particular variables and the model). The plots show pure effects of the focal variables after controlling for the effects of all other traits.

Mentions: The parameter estimates from the main effects model (Table 1) confirmed the observation of population declines in the high-altitude species when the effect of the mean altitude of the breeding occurrence was strongly negative with more negative population trends having the species breeding at higher altitudes (Fig 2A). Concerning the effect of migration strategy, the longer migratory route was associated with more negative trends (Fig 2B). We also found a significantly negative interaction between the altitudinal range shift and the mean altitude of the breeding occurrence (Table 1). It means that the long altitudinal range shift is beneficial for species breeding at lower altitudes, but it is associated with population declines at higher altitudes.


Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

Flousek J, Telenský T, Hanzelka J, Reif J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Relationships between long-term population trends of birds breeding in the Giant Mountains and their predictors.The trends were estimated for the time period 1984–2011 and are significantly related to (a) mean altitude of breeding occurrence at beginning of the monitoring period (the higher the value, the higher altitude a given species uses for breeding) and (b) migration strategy (the higher the value, the longer migration route a given species takes) as revealed by the linear main effects model (see text for more details on particular variables and the model). The plots show pure effects of the focal variables after controlling for the effects of all other traits.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4591356&req=5

pone.0139465.g002: Relationships between long-term population trends of birds breeding in the Giant Mountains and their predictors.The trends were estimated for the time period 1984–2011 and are significantly related to (a) mean altitude of breeding occurrence at beginning of the monitoring period (the higher the value, the higher altitude a given species uses for breeding) and (b) migration strategy (the higher the value, the longer migration route a given species takes) as revealed by the linear main effects model (see text for more details on particular variables and the model). The plots show pure effects of the focal variables after controlling for the effects of all other traits.
Mentions: The parameter estimates from the main effects model (Table 1) confirmed the observation of population declines in the high-altitude species when the effect of the mean altitude of the breeding occurrence was strongly negative with more negative population trends having the species breeding at higher altitudes (Fig 2A). Concerning the effect of migration strategy, the longer migratory route was associated with more negative trends (Fig 2B). We also found a significantly negative interaction between the altitudinal range shift and the mean altitude of the breeding occurrence (Table 1). It means that the long altitudinal range shift is beneficial for species breeding at lower altitudes, but it is associated with population declines at higher altitudes.

Bottom Line: We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes.We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes.Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Krkonoše National Park Administration, Dobrovského 3, CZ-543 01, Vrchlabí, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus