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Birds adapted to cold conditions show greater changes in range size related to past climatic oscillations than temperate birds (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Lisa Carrera, Marco Pavia & Sara Varela, 2022

Birds adapted to cold conditions show greater changes in range size related to past climatic oscillations than temperate birds

Scientific Reports. 12 (1): Article number 10813.

Abstract and free pdf: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-14972-7.pdf

Investigation of ecological responses of species to past climate oscillations provides crucial information to understand the effects of global warming. In this work, we investigated how past climate changes affected the distribution of six bird species with different climatic requirements and migratory behaviours in the Western Palearctic and in Africa. Species Distribution Models and Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 2 fossil occurrences of selected species were employed to evaluate the relation between changes in range size and species climatic tolerances. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) range predictions, generally well supported by the MIS 2 fossil occurrences, suggest that cold-dwelling species considerably expanded their distribution in the LGM, experiencing more pronounced net changes in range size compared to temperate species. Overall, the thermal niche proves to be a key ecological trait for explaining the impact of climate change in species distributions. Thermal niche is linked to range size variations due to climatic oscillations, with cold-adapted species currently suffering a more striking range reduction compared to temperate species. This work also supports the persistence of Afro-Palearctic migrations during the LGM due to the presence of climatically suitable wintering areas in Africa even during glacial maxima.


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