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Browsing by Subject "bird community"

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  • Tiusanen, Maria (2018)
    For a long time protected areas have been vital in conserving species and biodiversity. But due to climate change it is important to study whether the protected area networks are able to fulfill their goals also in a changing climate. Because of climate change the amount of southern species is increasing. At the same time the number of northern species is declining as are the suitable habitats for them. In order to adapt to changes in the climate, species are forced to shift their distributions poleward and upward. As a result, species communities are changing and some species may be threatened with extinction. It is therefore urgent to study whether the protected areas can alleviate the effects of climate change and whether they are capable to protect biodiversity in a changing climate. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the protected areas in Finland have been able to alleviate the effects of climate change in the bird species communities. The study was based on line transect bird censuses carried out in 182 protected areas during the years 1980–1999 and 2000–2015. Community temperature index (CTI) was used to study bird communities’ response to temperature change. Thus, CTI is used as a climate change indicator. CTI is based on the average temperature of the species range. A higher CTI value therefore indicates that a higher proportion of birds in the community are warm-dwelling species whereas the low CTI value indicates the opposite. The aim was to find out how the size of the protected area, connectivity between the protected areas and the type of habitat had affected the change of CTI between research periods. Protected areas were divided into three groups based on their location: northern, central and southern parts. 14 models were built in each part, ranked according to their AIC values. Linear regression analysis was used as the analytical method. During the research period, CTI had risen in 155 protected areas indicating a change in the direction of warmer bird communities. However, we found out that certain features of protected areas were able to alleviate the effects of climate change. Better connectivity decreased the changes in bird communities in the northern and central parts. But in the southern parts a similar effect was not found, possibly due to the smaller size of the protected areas and the lower degree of connectivity. The larger size of the protected area was supposed to reduce the changes in CTI but the results did not support this hypothesis. In all parts open habitats were more effective in alleviating the effects of climate change than the forest habitats. On the basis of the results, increasing the connectivity between protected areas could potentially be advantageous for the species suffering from climate change.