Can Topographic Variation in Climate Buffer against Climate Change-Induced Population Declines in Northern Forest Birds?

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/313888

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Virkkala , R , Aalto , J , Heikkinen , R , Rajasärkkä , A , Kuusela , S , Leikola , N & Luoto , M 2020 , ' Can Topographic Variation in Climate Buffer against Climate Change-Induced Population Declines in Northern Forest Birds? ' , Diversity , vol. 12 , no. 2 , 56 . https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020056

Title: Can Topographic Variation in Climate Buffer against Climate Change-Induced Population Declines in Northern Forest Birds?
Author: Virkkala, Raimo; Aalto, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Kuusela, Saija; Leikola, Niko; Luoto, Miska
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2020-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Diversity
ISSN: 1424-2818
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/313888
Abstract: Increased attention is being paid to the ecological drivers and conservation measures which could mitigate climate change-induced pressures for species survival, potentially helping populations to remain in their present-day locations longer. One important buffering mechanism against climate change may be provided by the heterogeneity in topography and consequent local climate conditions. However, the buffering capacity of this topoclimate has so far been insufficiently studied based on empirical survey data across multiple sites and species. Here, we studied whether the fine-grained air temperature variation of protected areas (PAs) affects the population changes of declining northern forest bird species. Importantly to our study, in PAs harmful land use, such as logging, is not allowed, enabling the detection of the effects of temperature buffering, even at relatively moderate levels of topographic variation. Our survey data from 129 PAs located in the boreal zone in Finland show that the density of northern forest species was higher in topographically heterogeneous PAs than in topographically more homogeneous PAs. Moreover, local temperature variation had a significant effect on the density change of northern forest birds from 1981-1999 to 2000-2017, indicating that change in bird density was generally smaller in PAs with higher topographic variation. Thus, we found a clear buffering effect stemming from the local temperature variation of PAs in the population trends of northern forest birds.
Subject: boreal
buffering
climate change
forest bird
macroclimate
population decline
protected areas
topographic heterogeneity
BOREAL PROTECTED AREAS
LAND-USE CHANGE
RANGE SHIFTS
BIODIVERSITY
ABUNDANCE
RESPONSES
LATITUDE
IMPACTS
TRENDS
TIME
1172 Environmental sciences
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