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Population Trends Of European Common Birds

July 5, 2009

Yellowhammer Reed BuntingBearded TitReed WarblerWoodpigeon

L > R :Yellowhammer Reed Bunting Bearded Tit Reed Warbler Woodpigeon

A study sponsored by a consortium with intrests in Natural History led by Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle & European Bird Census Council  and conducted by Frederic Jiguet and others attempted to analyse  long-term trends of110 common breeding birds across Europe (20 countries), to identify climate niche characteristics, adjusted to other environmental and life history traits, that predict large-scale population changes accounting for phylogenetic relatedness among species.

Beyond the now well-documented decline of farmland specialists, they found that species with the lowest thermal maxima (as the mean spring and summer temperature of the hottest part of the breeding distribution in Europe) showed the sharpest declines between 1980 and 2005. Thermal maximum predicted the recent trends independently of other potential predictors.

This study emphasizes the need to account for both land-use

and climate changes to assess the fate of species. It appers that  that thermal maximum is a reliable and simplepredictor of the long-term trends of such endothermic species facing climate change.

Abstract

from → Conservation, Ecosystems, Forest Ecology, Global warming, Habitat, Wildlife, population status

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