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Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents.

Stephens, P.A. and Mason, L.R. and Green, R.E. and Gregory, R.D. and Sauer, J.R. and Alison, J. and Aunins, A. and Brotons, L. and Butchart, S.H.M. and Campedelli, T. and Chodkiewicz, T. and Chylarecki, P. and Crowe, O. and Elts, J. and Escandell, V. and Foppen, R.P.B. and Heldbjerg, H. and Herrando, S. and Husby, M. and Jiguet, F. and Lehikoinen, A. and Lindström, Å. and Noble, D.G. and Paquet, J. and Reif, J. and Sattler, T. and Szép, T. and Teufelbauer, N. and Trautmann, S. and van Strien, A.J. and van Turnhout, C.A.M. and Vorisek, P. and Willis, S.G. (2016) 'Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents.', Science., 352 (6281). pp. 84-87.


Global climate change is a major threat to biodiversity. Large-scale analyses have generally focused on the impacts of climate change on the geographic ranges of species and on phenology, the timing of ecological phenomena. We used long-term monitoring of the abundance of breeding birds across Europe and the United States to produce, for both regions, composite population indices for two groups of species: those for which climate suitability has been either improving or declining since 1980. The ratio of these composite indices, the climate impact indicator (CII), reflects the divergent fates of species favored or disadvantaged by climate change. The trend in CII is positive and similar in the two regions. On both continents, interspecific and spatial variation in population abundance trends are well predicted by climate suitability trends.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on 01 Apr 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6281, pp. 84-87 DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4858.
Date accepted:25 February 2016
Date deposited:16 March 2016
Date of first online publication:01 April 2016
Date first made open access:01 April 2016

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