Date: May 9, 2019
Source: Imperial College London
Members of the same bird species can have dramatically different responses to deforestation depending on where they live, finds a new study.
Predicting a species' sensitivity to environmental changes, such as deforestation or climate change, is crucial for designing conservation strategies.
These predictions are often based on a species' physical traits, and assume that all members of a species will respond the same.
However, members of a single species live across a large geographical range that encompasses areas with the right physical conditions for them, such as temperature and food sources.
Some populations of a species will inevitably live at the edge of their range, where conditions are less than perfect because they are either too cold or too hot. Now, in new research published this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution, a research team led by Imperial College London have investigated the effect living near the range edge has on bird species in Brazil.
By analysing 378 species detected over 211 sites spanning 2,000 km of Atlantic Forest in Brazil, the team found dramatic differences in sensitivity to deforestation between populations at the edge of the range and those nearer the 'core'.