Population Dynamical Consequences of Climate Change for a Small Temperate Songbird

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Science  04 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5454, pp. 854-856
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5454.854

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Predicting the effects of an expected climatic change requires estimates and modeling of stochastic factors as well as density-dependent effects in the population dynamics. In a population of a small songbird, the dipper (Cinclus cinclus), environmental stochasticity and density dependence both influenced the population growth rate. About half of the environmental variance was explained by variation in mean winter temperature. Including these results in a stochastic model shows that an expected change in climate will strongly affect the dynamics of the population, leading to a nonlinear increase in the carrying capacity and in the expected mean population size.

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