Research ArticleECOLOGY

Twentieth century turnover of Mexican endemic avifaunas: Landscape change versus climate drivers

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Science Advances  15 May 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 4, e1400071
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400071


Numerous climate change effects on biodiversity have been anticipated and documented, including extinctions, range shifts, phenological shifts, and breakdown of interactions in ecological communities, yet the relative balance of different climate drivers and their relationships to other agents of global change (for example, land use and land-use change) remains relatively poorly understood. This study integrated historical and current biodiversity data on distributions of 115 Mexican endemic bird species to document areas of concentrated gains and losses of species in local communities, and then related those changes to climate and land-use drivers. Of all drivers examined, at this relatively coarse spatial resolution, only temperature change had significant impacts on avifaunal turnover; neither precipitation change nor human impact on landscapes had detectable effects. This study, conducted across species’ geographic distributions, and covering all of Mexico, thanks to two large-scale biodiversity data sets, could discern relative importance of specific climatic drivers of biodiversity change.

  • Climate change
  • Temperature
  • precipitation
  • land use
  • endemic species
  • faunal change
  • turnover

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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