Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate adaptation difficult for Europe’s birds

16.01.2012
For the past 20 years, the climate in Europe has been getting warmer. Species of bird and butterfly which thrive in cool temperatures therefore need to move further north. However, they have difficulty adapting to the warmer climate quickly enough, as shown by new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Åke Lindström is Professor of Animal Ecology at Lund University, Sweden. Together with other European researchers he has looked at 20 years’ worth of data on birds, butterflies and summer temperatures. During this period, Europe has become warmer and set temperatures have shifted northwards by 250 km. Bird and butterfly communities have not moved at the same rate.

“Both butterflies and birds respond to climate change, but not fast enough to keep up with an increasingly warm climate. We don’t know what the long-term ecological effects of this will be”, says Åke Lindström.

Butterflies have adapted more quickly to the changing temperatures and have moved on average 114 km north, whereas birds have only moved 37 km. A likely reason is that butterflies have much shorter lifespans and therefore adapt more quickly to climate change. Because birds like to return to the same breeding ground as in previous years, there is also greater inertia in the bird system.

“A worrying aspect of this is if birds fall out of step with butterflies, because caterpillars and insects in general represent an important source of food for many birds”, says Åke Lindström.

Sweden shows the strongest trends with regard to birds; however, there is no corresponding Swedish data for butterflies. For the study, the birds have been divided into ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ species, i.e. birds that thrive in slightly cooler or warmer temperatures. For example, chaffinches and reed buntings are ‘colder’ species and blackcaps and goldfinches ‘warmer’ species. In general, the researchers have observed that ‘warm’ birds are on the increase and ‘cold’ birds are in decline. When new species are seen in an area and others disappear, it is more often ‘warm’ species that arrive and ‘cold’ species that disappear.

“Over the past 50 years the main factors affecting bird and butterfly numbers and distribution have been agriculture, forestry and urbanisation. Climate change is now emerging as an increasingly important factor in the development of biodiversity”, says Åke Lindström, continuing:

“For Sweden, this will probably mean more species of bird in the long run; many new species are already arriving from the continent.”

Åke Lindström works among other things on the projects BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate) and CanMove (Centre for Animal Movement Research) at Lund University in Sweden. The study is a joint European project with data from 20 years and seven countries (Spain, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Finland and the Czech Republic). The Swedish data covers birds and temperatures and has been gathered on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, please contact Åke Lindström, +46 706 975 931 or Ake.Lindstrom@biol.lu.se

Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Further information:
http://canmove.lu.se/sv
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1347.html
http://www.cec.lu.se/forskning/becc

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>