Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate change linked to migratory bird decrease

26.03.2003


Biologists believe that climate change is affecting living things worldwide, and the latest evidence suggests that warmer winters may mean fewer migratory birds. New research shows that as winter temperatures have risen in central Europe, the number of migratory birds has dropped. Ultimately, this may also decrease the number of migratory bird species there.



"We predict that with increasing winter temperatures...the number of long-distance migratory bird species should decline," say Nicole Lemoine and Katrin Boehning-Gaese of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, in the April issue of Conservation Biology.

The Earth’s surface temperature has increased by about a degree F since 1860, and is expected to increase by as much as 10 degrees F more over the next century. Already, climate change is affecting plants and animals in many parts of the world: for instance, plants in Europe have a longer growing season, a North American marmot has a shorter hibernation period, and some migratory birds in Europe are starting to breed earlier.


Climate change could also affect the abundance and diversity of birds. The idea is that warmer winters could increase the survival of birds that live in an area year-round, which could give migratory birds more competition for resources such as food and nest sites when they return to breed in the spring – and that in turn could decrease the total number of migratory birds as well as the number of species.

To see if climate change affects the abundance and diversity of migratory birds, Lemoine and Boehning-Gaese analyzed existing bird census and climate data for the Lake Constance region of central Europe, which includes parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The researchers determined the number of land bird species and the abundance of each species during two recent census periods (1980-81 and 1990-92). The researchers considered 300 species of land birds and divided them into three categories: residents, short-distance migrants (those that migrate an average of roughly 600 to 1,200 miles) and long-distance migrants (those that migrate more than 2,200 miles). There were 122, 80 and 108 species in each category, respectively.

While climate change did not affect resident or short-distance migratory birds, Lemoine and Boehning-Gaese found that it did affect the long-distance migrants. Between the two census periods, winters got warmer and the abundance of long-distant migrants decreased. Specifically, the average temperature of the coldest month increased more than four degrees F, and the abundance of long-distance migratory birds decreased by a fifth.

Ultimately, warmer winters will probably also decrease the number of long-distance migratory bird species in Central Europe, say the researchers. In addition, the birds’ migratory behavior will probably evolve. The migratory behavior of bird populations can change in only a few generations, and several populations of wrens, skylarks and other short-distance migrants have stopped migrating in the last 20 years.


CONTACT:
Nicole Lemoine (+49-6131-392-3950, lemoine@oekologie.biologie.uni-mainz.de)
Katrin Boehning-Gaese (+49-6131-392-3949, boehning@oekologie.biologie.uni-mainz.de)

Nicole Lemoine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://conbio.net/scb
http://www.panda.org/resources/publications/climate/migration/
http://conservationbiology.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>