Birds are on the move in the face of climate change

September 7, 2017

Research on birds in northern Europe reveals that there is an ongoing considerable species turnover due to climate change and due to land use and other direct human influences. The findings are published in Ecology and Evolution.

When investigators analyzed bird species in a region of Finland covering 1100 km and examined bird atlas studies between 1974-1989 and 2006-2010, species turnover was very high, with considerable range shifts of species and numbers of species gaining range and species losing range being about equal. The findings indicate that the structure of bird communities is changing and totally new community compositions may evolve.

"Both and land use substantially modify species composition in northern Europe," said Dr. Raimo Virkkala, co-author of the study.

Explore further: Climate change risk for animals living in prime conditions

More information: Raimo Virkkala et al, Birds on the move in the face of climate change: High species turnover in northern Europe, Ecology and Evolution (2017). DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3328

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