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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

Authors:

Lisa McCauley

Christine Ribic

Lars Pomara

Benjamin Zuckerberg

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2017
Secondary Title:
Landscape Ecology
ISSN:
0921-2973
DOI:
10.1007/s10980-017-0487-x
Pages:
807-821
Volume:
32
Year:
2017
Date:
Jan-30-2017
URL:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007\%2Fs10980-017-0487-x

Abstract

 Temperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts. The goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability. We conducted a demographic meta-analy- sis from published studies and quantified the relation- ship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate- demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model