Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
EEB
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Env Exp Biol (2012) 10: 41–47
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Environmental and
Experimental
Biology

Env Exp Biol (2012) 10: 41–47

Original Article

Changes in breeding bird distribution in Latvia and their correspondence to modelled changes in distribution in Europe due to climate change

Viesturs Ķerus*, Ainārs Auniņš, Māris Strazds, Jānis Priednieks
Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Kronvalda Bulv. 4, Riga LV-1010, Latvia
*Corresponding author, E-mail: viesturs@lob.lv

Abstract

The aim of our study was to evaluate changes in breeding bird distribution in Latvia from 1980 – 1984 to 2000 – 2004 and to compare the recorded changes with predictions on range shifts on a European level due to climate change by the end of the 21st century. To evaluate changes in breeding bird distribution we used data from two nation-wide breeding bird atlas studies, controlling for differences in grid square size, grid projections and different levels of survey effort. The significance of the recorded change, as well as that of predicted change, was calculated using chi-square tests of independence. The results showed that the distribution of breeding birds in Latvia has changed significantly from 1980 – 1984 to 2000 – 2004, with 53.8% of the species either decreasing or increasing in distribution. During that time, also the climate in Latvia has undergone a general trend of “becoming warmer”. In general, the recorded changes in breeding bird distribution in Latvia do not match the predictions regarding change in distribution due to climate change. Several limitations hinder making sound conclusions, but we found no evidence of a major impact of climate change on recorded changes in breeding bird distribution. However, for some species, climate change can be seen as one of the main drivers of the change.

Key words: atlas studies, breeding bird atlas, breeding bird distribution, climate change.

 
Env Exp Biol (2012) 10: 41–47
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb
EEB

Editor-in-Chief
Prof. Gederts Ievinsh



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University of Latvia

 
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