Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Effects of climate change on birds worsened by housing development

Date:
December 20, 2012
Source:
PRBO Conservation Science
Summary:
Although climate change may alter the distributions of many species, changes in land use may compound these effects. Now, a new study suggests that the effects of future housing development may be as great or greater than those of climate change for many bird species. In fact, some species projected to expand their distributions with climate change may actually lose ground when future development is brought into the picture.

Although climate change may alter the distributions of many species, changes in land use may compound these effects. Now, a new study by PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO) researcher Dennis Jongsomjit and colleagues suggests that the effects of future housing development may be as great or greater than those of climate change for many bird species. In fact, some species projected to expand their distributions with climate change may actually lose ground when future development is brought into the picture.

The study, "Between a rock and a hard place: The impacts of climate change and housing development on breeding birds in California," appears online in the journal Landscape Ecology.

Conservationists have long known that changing land use and development may pose a major threat to wildlife through habitat loss and degradation. Yet, many recent studies have focused solely on how the changing climate will impact species. It is now clear that focusing on only one of these threats may underestimate the actual risk to species from future environmental changes.

"We know that climate changes will cause species to shift distributions, but where a species will be able to persist into the future is also determined by the availability of good habitat," said lead author Dennis Jongsomjit. "We wanted to examine both of these major threats together to get a better sense of the role each may play on bird populations. This information can help to improve management actions on the ground."

Using data collected at thousands of locations across California, the PRBO scientists project current and future statewide distributions for 64 bird species using climate models developed at UC Santa Cruz. These climate driven projections were combined with models of future housing growth to assess the relative impacts of each. The results varied among species and across habitats. Species associated with oak woodlands, for example, were projected to see up to 80% of their losses related to housing development. Species associated with coniferous forests, on the other hand, were projected to see most of their losses related to climate change, with relatively little impact from development.

"The places that are projected to undergo the greatest changes in climate aren't always the places with the greatest future development pressures, but where they coincide, species are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, with nowhere to go," said Dr. John Wiens, PRBO Chief Scientist.

The impacts of a changing climate on species are already being detected, and they are likely to increase in the future. The results of this study suggest that reducing the exposure of species to other stressors, such as development, may be an important strategy for adapting to climate change. To be effective, such actions will require the close cooperation of conservation practitioners and land-use planners, something that is in short supply today.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PRBO Conservation Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dennis Jongsomjit, Diana Stralberg, Thomas Gardali, Leonardo Salas, John Wiens. Between a rock and a hard place: the impacts of climate change and housing development on breeding birds in California. Landscape Ecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s10980-012-9825-1

Cite This Page:

PRBO Conservation Science. "Effects of climate change on birds worsened by housing development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220101942.htm>.
PRBO Conservation Science. (2012, December 20). Effects of climate change on birds worsened by housing development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220101942.htm
PRBO Conservation Science. "Effects of climate change on birds worsened by housing development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220101942.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins