Macroecology of global change

Climate change impacts on European and North American breeding birds

This research project seeks to understand the general consequences of climate change and land-use change on the avifauna of Europe and North America. In particular, the project combines the valuable data sets collected year after year by thousands of volunteer birdwatchers on both continents, known as the European and North American Breeding Bird Surveys. The project builds on research carried out in my MSc thesis in an ongoing collaboration with European Bird Census Council and its Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme.


In the project we particularly seek to answer four questions:

1) Can the long-term consequences of climate and land-use change be predicted by looking at short-term population fluctuations?

2) Does climate change lead to less stable large-scale population dynamics?

3) How comparable are the effects of climate change on the avifauna in Europe and North America?

4) What are the consequences of recent climate change for populations of migratory song-birds that breed in Europe or North America and spend the winter in the African or Latin American Tropics?

While we work towards the publication of manuscripts addressing these questions you can find pre-prints available as chapter three through six in my PhD thesis.