Date: July 7, 2015
Source: University of Kansas
Summary: A wide-ranging study of gains and losses of populations of bird species across Mexico in the 20th century shows shifts in temperature due to global climate change are the primary environmental influence on the distributions of bird species.
"Of all drivers examined ... only temperature change had significant impacts on avifaunal turnover; neither precipitation change nor human impacts on landscapes had significant effects," wrote the authors of the study, which appeared recently in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.
Using analytical techniques from the field of biodiversity informatics, researchers compared current distributions with distributions in the middle 20th century for 115 bird species that are found only in Mexico. They then compared those bird community changes to patterns of change in climate and land use.