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Temporal Variation in Population Size of European Bird Species: Effects of Latitude and Marginality of Distribution

AutorCuervo, José Javier ; Møller, Anders Pape
Fecha de publicación17-oct-2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8(10): e77654 (2013)
ResumenIn the Northern Hemisphere, global warming has been shown to affect animal populations in different ways, with southern populations in general suffering more from increased temperatures than northern populations of the same species. However, southern populations are also often marginal populations relative to the entire breeding range, and marginality may also have negative effects on populations. To disentangle the effects of latitude (possibly due to global warming) and marginality on temporal variation in population size, we investigated European breeding bird species across a latitudinal gradient. Population size estimates were regressed on years, and from these regressions we obtained the slope (a proxy for population trend) and the standard error of the estimate (SEE) (a proxy for population fluctuations). The possible relationships between marginality or latitude on one hand and slopes or SEE on the other were tested among populations within species. Potentially confounding factors such as census method, sampling effort, density-dependence, habitat fragmentation and number of sampling years were controlled statistically. Population latitude was positively related to regression slopes independent of marginality, with more positive slopes (i.e., trends) in northern than in southern populations. The degree of marginality was positively related to SEE independent of latitude, with marginal populations showing larger SEE (i.e., fluctuations) than central ones. Regression slopes were also significantly related to our estimate of density-dependence and SEE was significantly affected by the census method. These results are consistent with a scenario in which southern and northern populations of European bird species are negatively affected by marginality, with southern populations benefitting less from global warming than northern populations, thus potentially making southern populations more vulnerable to extinction. © 2013 Cuervo, Møller.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/123079
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0077654
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077654
issn: 1932-6203
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