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Drivers of recent breeding distribution and population changes in Swedish bird populations

This project aims to describe the impact of recent climate change on birds utilising data from the Swedish Breeding Bird survey.

We are taking a number of different approaches with the aim of gaining a holistic overview of how population changes can drive distribution shifts and in turn drive changes in bird communities.

Detecting distribution shifts in Swedish birds
Changing climate is expected to result in changes to bird distributions. We will look for distribution shifts that have already occurred and compare them to what would be expected given the climatic changes that have already happened. We will carry out a trait analyses to examine whether some species are better able to cope with these environmental changes.

Spatial changes in population trends
We now have good evidence that species with increasing population trends are expanding their distributions in response to climate change. We would like to look at modelling spatial population change to see if we can discover more about the mechanism linking population changes and distributions shifts. For example, are species that are expanding doing so because of increased productivity at the edge of their ranges or because of an overflow effect from the centre of their ranges.

Macro-ecology: Which species drive community response to climate change?
We have already examined the impact of climate and habitat on the alpha and beta diversity of Swedish bird communities over a 13 year period. We carried out analyses to identify the influence each species had on these community trends. Finally, we undertook a functional trait analyses to help characterise what makes some species more influential than others.

Diversity at different scales: how does the Swedish Reserve network protect biodiversity
We will examine how the current reserve network in Sweden coincides with areas of high alpha and beta diversity. We can then examine how this will change under future climate scenarios and make recommendations about management adaptation that may be required.

Page Manager:


Catherine Davey

E-mail: catherine [dot] davey [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se

Fågel Fotograf_Gustav_Lundh

Involved researchers

Åke Lindström (Department of Biology, Lund University),
Niclas Jonzén (Department of Biology, Lund University),
Henrik Smith ((Department of Biology, Lund University),
Paul Caplat (Physical Geography, Lund University),
Torben Wittwer (Physical Geography, Lund University)


Davey,C., Devictor, V., Jonzén, N., Lindström, Å., Smith, H.G. Behind communities: species’ contribution to community response to climate changes. In Submission.