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Bird response to future climate and forest management focused on mitigating climate change

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LeBrun, Jaymi J.; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.; Thompson, Frank R.; Dijak, William D.; Fraser, Jacob S.; He, Hong S.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

Year Published

2017

Publication

Landscape Ecology

Abstract

Context. Global temperatures are projected to increase and affect forests and wildlife populations. Forest management can potentially mitigate climateinduced changes through promoting carbon sequestration, forest resilience, and facilitated change. Objectives. We modeled direct and indirect effects of climate change on avian abundance through changes in forest landscapes and assessed impacts on bird abundances of forest management strategies designed to mitigate climate change effects. Methods. We coupled a Bayesian hierarchical model with a spatially explicit landscape simulation model (LANDIS PRO) to predict avian relative abundance. We considered multiple climate scenarios and forest management scenarios focused on carbon sequestration, forest resilience, and facilitated change over 100 years. Results. Management had a greater impact on avian abundance (almost 50% change under some scenarios) than climate (<3% change) and only early successional and coniferous forest showed significant change in percent cover across time. The northern bobwhite was the only species that changed in abundance due to climate-induced changes in vegetation. Northern bobwhite, prairie warbler, and blue-winged warbler generally increased in response to warming temperatures but prairie warbler exhibited a non-linear response and began to decline as summer maximum temperatures exceeded 36 °C at the end of the century. Conclusion. Linking empirical models with processbased landscape change models can be an effective way to predict climate change and management impacts on wildlife, but time frames greater than 100 years may be required to see climate related effects. We suggest that future research carefully consider species-specific effects and interactions between management and climate.

Citation

LeBrun, Jaymi J.; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.; Thompson, Frank R.; Dijak, William D.; Fraser, Jacob S.; He, Hong S.; Millspaugh, Joshua J. 2017. Bird response to future climate and forest management focused on mitigating climate change. Landscape Ecology. 32(7): 1433-1446. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-016-0463-x.

Last updated on: February 20, 2019