The farmland bird in the face of land-use and climate changes

In collaboration with Karine Princé, Morgane Barbet-Massin and Frédéric Jiguet

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

European Stonechat

Climate and land-use changes are key drivers of current biodiversity trends, but interactions between these drivers are poorly modeled, even though they could amplify or mitigate negative impacts of climate change.

We used the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) to integrate likely changes in species climatic suitability, based on species distribution models, and changes in area of farmland, based on the IMAGE model, inside future climatic suitable areas. We also developed farmland cover scenarios, based on expert opinion, which cover a wide spectrum of potential changes in livestock farming and cropping patterns by 2050. Through these scenarios, we then examined the species sensitivity to global change according to their habitat requirements.

Our results suggest that public policies that promote extensive agricultural practices are more appropriate for improving the fate of bird communities in agricultural landscapes, especially with the regionalization of agricultural policy.

Interestingly, we also found evidence that farmland cover changes can mitigate the negative effect of climate change (Princé et al. 2013, 2015).

 

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