Despite the assessment of long-term niche dynamics could provide crucial information for investigating species responses to environmental changes, it is a poorly investigated topic in ecology. Here, we present a case study of multi-species niche analysis for 71 common breeding birds in Northern Italy, exploring long-term niche changes from 1992 to 2017 and their relationship with both population trends and species traits. We (i) quantified the realized Grinnellian niche in the environmental space, (ii) compared variations in niche breadth and centroid, (iii) tested niche divergence and conservatism through equivalency and similarity tests, (iv) calculated niche temporal overlap, expansion and unfilling indices, and (v) investigated their association with both population changes and species traits. Results supported niche divergence (equivalency test) for 32% of species, although two-thirds were not supported by the similarity test. We detected a general tendency to adjust the niche centroids towards warmer thermal conditions. Increasing populations were positively correlated with niche expansion, while negatively correlated with niche overlap, albeit at the limit of the significance threshold. We found moderate evidence for a non-random association between niche changes and species traits, especially for body size, clutch size, number of broods per year, inhabited landscape type, and migration strategy. We encourage studies correlating long-term population trends and niche changes with species traits’ information and a specific focus on cause-effect relationship at both the single and multiple-species level.

Tirozzi, P., Orioli, V., Dondina, O., Bani, L. (2022). New Evidence on the Linkage of Population Trends and Species Traits to Long-Term Niche Changes. BIRDS, 3(1), 149-171 [10.3390/birds3010011].

New Evidence on the Linkage of Population Trends and Species Traits to Long-Term Niche Changes

Pietro Tirozzi
Primo
;
Valerio Orioli
;
Olivia Dondina;Luciano Bani
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Despite the assessment of long-term niche dynamics could provide crucial information for investigating species responses to environmental changes, it is a poorly investigated topic in ecology. Here, we present a case study of multi-species niche analysis for 71 common breeding birds in Northern Italy, exploring long-term niche changes from 1992 to 2017 and their relationship with both population trends and species traits. We (i) quantified the realized Grinnellian niche in the environmental space, (ii) compared variations in niche breadth and centroid, (iii) tested niche divergence and conservatism through equivalency and similarity tests, (iv) calculated niche temporal overlap, expansion and unfilling indices, and (v) investigated their association with both population changes and species traits. Results supported niche divergence (equivalency test) for 32% of species, although two-thirds were not supported by the similarity test. We detected a general tendency to adjust the niche centroids towards warmer thermal conditions. Increasing populations were positively correlated with niche expansion, while negatively correlated with niche overlap, albeit at the limit of the significance threshold. We found moderate evidence for a non-random association between niche changes and species traits, especially for body size, clutch size, number of broods per year, inhabited landscape type, and migration strategy. We encourage studies correlating long-term population trends and niche changes with species traits’ information and a specific focus on cause-effect relationship at both the single and multiple-species level.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
body mass; breeding birds; ecospat; farmland birds; migration strategy; niche conservatism; niche divergence; species specialization;
English
16-mar-2022
2022
3
1
149
171
open
Tirozzi, P., Orioli, V., Dondina, O., Bani, L. (2022). New Evidence on the Linkage of Population Trends and Species Traits to Long-Term Niche Changes. BIRDS, 3(1), 149-171 [10.3390/birds3010011].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/361151
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