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Climate change has indirect effects on resource use and overlap among coexisting bird species with negative consequences for their reproductive success

Global Change Biology

By:
,
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12062

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Abstract

Climate change can modify ecological interactions, but whether it can have cascading effects throughout ecological networks of multiple interacting species remains poorly studied. Climate-driven alterations in the intensity of plant–herbivore interactions may have particularly profound effects on the larger community because plants provide habitat for a wide diversity of organisms. Here we show that changes in vegetation over the last 21 years, due to climate effects on plant–herbivore interactions, have consequences for songbird nest site overlap and breeding success. Browsing-induced reductions in the availability of preferred nesting sites for two of three ground nesting songbirds led to increasing overlap in nest site characteristics among all three bird species with increasingly negative consequences for reproductive success over the long term. These results demonstrate that changes in the vegetation community from effects of climate change on plant–herbivore interactions can cause subtle shifts in ecological interactions that have critical demographic ramifications for other species in the larger community.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Climate change has indirect effects on resource use and overlap among coexisting bird species with negative consequences for their reproductive success
Series title:
Global Change Biology
DOI:
10.1111/gcb.12062
Volume
19
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Coop Res Unit Seattle
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
411
Last page:
419