Local colonisations and extinctions of European birds are poorly explained by changes in climate suitability

Christine Howard*, Emma-Liina Marjakangas, Alejandra Morán-Ordóñez, Pietro Milanesi, Aleksandre Abuladze, Karen Aghababyan, Vitalie Ajder, Volen Arkumarev, Dawn E Balmer, Hans-Günther Bauer, Colin M Beale, Taulant Bino, Kerem Ali Boyla, Ian J Burfield, Brian Burke, Brian Caffrey, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Juan Carlos Del Moral, Vlatka Dumbovic Mazal, Néstor FernándezLorenzo Fornasari, Bettina Gerlach, Carlos Godinho, Sergi Herrando, Christina Ieronymidou, Alison Johnston, Mihailo Jovicevic, Mikhail Kalyakin, Verena Keller, Peter Knaus, Dražen Kotrošan, Tatiana Kuzmenko, Domingos Leitão, Åke Lindström, Qenan Maxhuni, Tomaž Mihelič, Tibor Mikuska, Blas Molina, Károly Nagy, David Noble, Ingar Jostein Øien, Jean-Yves Paquet, Clara Pladevall, Danae Portolou, Dimitrije Radišić, Saša Rajkov, Draženko Z Rajković, Liutauras Raudonikis, Thomas Sattler, Darko Saveljić, Paul Shimmings, Jovica Sjenicic, Karel Šťastný, Stoycho Stoychev, Iurii Strus, Christoph Sudfeldt, Elchin Sultanov, Tibor Szép, Norbert Teufelbauer, Danka Uzunova, Chris A M van Turnhout, Metodija Velevski, Thomas Vikstrøm, Alexandre Vintchevski, Olga Voltzit, Petr Voříšek, Tomasz Wilk, Damaris Zurell, Lluís Brotons, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Stephen G Willis*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Climate change has been associated with both latitudinal and elevational shifts in species' ranges. The extent, however, to which climate change has driven recent range shifts alongside other putative drivers remains uncertain. Here, we use the changing distributions of 378 European breeding bird species over 30 years to explore the putative drivers of recent range dynamics, considering the effects of climate, land cover, other environmental variables, and species' traits on the probability of local colonisation and extinction. On average, species shifted their ranges by 2.4 km/year. These shifts, however, were significantly different from expectations due to changing climate and land cover. We found that local colonisation and extinction events were influenced primarily by initial climate conditions and by species' range traits. By contrast, changes in climate suitability over the period were less important. This highlights the limitations of using only climate and land cover when projecting future changes in species' ranges and emphasises the need for integrative, multi-predictor approaches for more robust forecasting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4304
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Climate Change
  • Ecosystem

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