Article

 

Precipitation and winter temperature predict long-term range-scale abundance changes in Western North American birds Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/5138jk86h

This is an author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by John Wiley & Sons Ltd., and can be found at:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291365-2486

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract
  • Predicting biodiversity responses to climate change remains a difficult challenge, especially in climatically complex regions where precipitation is a limiting factor. Though statistical climatic envelope models are frequently used to project future scenarios for species distributions under climate change, these models are rarely tested using empirical data. We used long-term data on bird distributions and abundance covering five states in the western US and in the Canadian province of British Columbia to test the capacity of statistical models to predict temporal changes in bird populations over a 32-year period. Using boosted regression trees, we built presence-absence and abundance models that related the presence and abundance of 132 bird species to spatial variation in climatic conditions. Presence/absence models built using 1970–1974 data forecast the distributions of the majority of species in the later time period, 1998–2002 (mean AUC = 0.79 ± 0.01). Hindcast models performed equivalently (mean AUC = 0.82 ± 0.01). Correlations between observed and predicted abundances were also statistically significant for most species (forecast mean Spearman′s ρ = 0.34 ± 0.02, hindcast = 0.39 ± 0.02). The most stringent test is to test predicted changes in geographic patterns through time. Observed changes in abundance patterns were significantly positively correlated with those predicted for 59% of species (mean Spearman′s ρ = 0.28 ± 0.02, across all species). Three precipitation variables (for the wettest month, breeding season, and driest month) and minimum temperature of the coldest month were the most important predictors of bird distributions and abundances in this region, and hence of abundance changes through time. Our results suggest that models describing associations between climatic variables and abundance patterns can predict changes through time for some species, and that changes in precipitation and winter temperature appear to have already driven shifts in the geographic patterns of abundance of bird populations in western North America.
Resource Type
DOI
Date Available
Date Issued
Citation
  • Illán, J. G., Thomas, C. D., Jones, J. A., Wong, W.-K., Shirley, S. M., & Betts, M. G. (2014). Precipitation and winter temperature predict long-term range-scale abundance changes in Western North American birds. Global Change Biology, 20(11), 3351–3364. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12642
Series
Keyword
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • The research was funded by Oregon State University, The University of York, a National Science Foundation grant to MGB (NSF-ARC 0941748), National Science Foundation CDI grant to MGB, JJ and WKW (NSF-CDI 0913560) and a MEC/Fullbright (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain) post-doctoral fellowship to JGI (ref: 0257/BOS). The project described in this publication was supported by a grant to MGB the Department of the Interior Northwest Climate Science Center through Cooperative Agreement No. G11AC20255 from the United States Geological Survey.
Publisher
Peer Reviewed
Language
Replaces

Relationships

Parents:

This work has no parents.

Items