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How will climate change affect endangered Mediterranean waterbirds?

AuthorsRamírez, Francisco ; Rodríguez, Carlos ; Seoane, Javier; Figuerola, Jordi ; Bustamante, Javier
KeywordsClimate change
Habitat suitability
Mediterranean wetlands
South-west Spain
Waterbird community structure
Issue Date2017
CitationRamírez, Francisco ; Rodríguez, Carlos ; Seoane, Javier; Figuerola, Jordi ; Bustamante, Javier; 2017; "How will climate change affect endangered Mediterranean waterbirds? [Dataset]"; DIGITALCSIC; http://dx.doi.org/10.20350/digitalCSIC/8519
AbstractGlobal warming and direct anthropogenic impacts, such as water extraction, are largely affecting water budgets in Mediterranean wetlands, thereby increasing wetland salinities and isolation, and decreasing water depths and hydroperiods (duration of the inundation period). These wetland features are key elements structuring waterbird communities. However, the ultimate and net consequences of these dynamic conditions on waterbird assemblages are largely unknown. We combined a regular sampling on waterbird presence through the 2008 annual cycle with in-situ data on these relevant environmental predictors of waterbird distribution to model habitat selection for 69 individual species in a typical Mediterranean wetland network in south-western Spain. Species association with environmental features were subsequently used to predict changes in habitat suitability for each species under three climate change scenarios (encompassing changes in environment that ranged from 10% to 50% change as predicted by climatic models). Waterbirds distributed themselves unevenly throughout environmental gradients and water salinity was the most important gradient structuring the distribution of the community. Environmental suitability for the guilds of diving birds and vegetation gleaners will be reduced according to future climate scenarios, while most small wading birds will benefit from changing conditions. Resident species and those that breed in this wetland network will be also more impacted than those using this area for wintering or stopover. We provide here a tool that can be used in a horizon-scanning framework to identify emerging issues on waterbird conservation and to anticipate suitable management actions
ReferencesRamírez, Francisco ; Rodríguez, Carlos ; Seoane, Javier; Figuerola, Jordi ; Bustamante, Javier. How will climate change affect endangered Mediterranean waterbirds?. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192702
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