The local spatial congruence between climate changes and community changes has rarely been studied over large areas. We proposed one of the first comprehensive frameworks tracking local changes in community composition related to climate changes. First, we investigated whether and how 12 years of changes in the local composition of bird communities were related to local climate variations. Then, we tested the consequences of this climate-induced adjustment of communities on Grinnellian (habitat-related) and Eltonian (function-related) homogenization. A standardized protocol monitoring spatial and temporal trends of birds over France from 2001 to 2012 was used. For each plot and each year, we used the spring temperature and the spring precipitations and calculated three indices reflecting the thermal niche, the habitat specialization, and the functional originality of the species within a community. We then used a moving-window approach to estimate the spatial distribution of the temporal trends in each of these indices and their congruency with local climatic variations. Temperature fluctuations and community dynamics were found to be highly variable in space, but their variations were finely congruent. More interestingly, the community adjustment to temperature variations was nonmonotonous. Instead, unexplained fluctuations in community composition were observed up to a certain threshold of climate change intensity, above which a change in community composition was observed. This shift corresponded to a significant decrease in the relative abundance of habitat specialists and functionally original species within communities, regardless of the direction of temperature change. The investigation of variations in climate and community responses appears to be a central step toward a better understanding of climate change effects on biodiversity. Our results suggest a fine-scale and short-term adjustment of community composition to temperature changes. Moreover, significant temperature variations seem to be responsible for both the Grinnellian and Eltonian aspects of functional homogenization.
- BIOTIC HOMOGENIZATION
- SPECIES RICHNESS
- PHYLOGENETIC DIVERSITY
- AVIAN ASSEMBLAGES
- GLOBAL CHANGE
[Gauezere, Pierre; Devictor, Vincent] Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, Inst Sci Evolut, F-34095 Montpellier, France; [Jiguet, Frederic] Museum Natl Hist Nat, UMR CESCO 7204, Ctr Rech Biol Populat Oiseaux, F-75005 Paris, France
Gauzere, P (reprint author), Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, Inst Sci Evolut, Pl Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier, France.
- Centre des Sciences de la Conservation (CESCO), UMR7204
- Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), UMR5554