Effects of diversity on thermal niche variation in bird communities under climate change
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Climate change alters ecological communities by affecting individual species and interactions between species. However, the impacts of climate change may be buffered by community diversity: diverse communities may be more resistant to climate-driven perturbations than simple communities. Here, we assess how diversity influences long-term thermal niche variation in communities under climate change. We use 50-year continental-scale data on bird communities during breeding and non-breeding seasons to quantify the communities’ thermal variability. Thermal variability is measured as the temporal change in the community’s average thermal niche and it indicates community’s response to climate change. Then, we study how the thermal variability varies as a function of taxonomic, functional, and evolutionary diversity using linear models. We find that communities with low thermal niche variation have higher functional diversity, with this pattern being measurable in the non-breeding but not in the breeding season. Given the expected increase in seasonal variation in the future climate, the differences in bird communities’ thermal variability between breeding and non-breeding seasons may grow wider. Importantly, our results suggest that functionally diverse wildlife communities can mitigate effects of climate change by hindering changes in thermal niche variability, which underscores the importance of addressing the climate and biodiversity crises together.
Marjakangas , E L , Santangeli , A , Johnston , A , Michel , N L , Princé , K & Lehikoinen , A 2022 , ' Effects of diversity on thermal niche variation in bird communities under climate change ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 12 , 21810 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-26248-1
Copyright © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
DescriptionFunding: A.L., A.S. and E.M. were funded by the Academy of Finland (Projects 275606, 307909 and 323527). In addition, the research has been funded through the 2017–2018 Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme, and with the funding organisations Academy of Finland (Helsinki: 326338) and the National Science Foundation (CLO, ICER-1927646). Open access funded by Helsinki University Library.
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