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Impacts of changing climate on the distribution of migratory birds in China:habitat change and population centroid shift
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  • Jie Liang,
  • Yuhui Peng,
  • Wenle Xing,
  • Xiaodong Li,
  • Ming Yan,
  • Yujie Yuan,
  • Xin Li,
  • Ziqian Zhu
Jie Liang
Hunan University
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Yuhui Peng
Hunan University
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Wenle Xing
Hunan University
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Xiaodong Li
Hunan University
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Ming Yan
Hunan University
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Yujie Yuan
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Xin Li
Hunan University
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Ziqian Zhu
Hunan University
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Abstract

Climate changes has been shown to be related to the changes in the distributions of migratory species, which irreparably harms biodiversity. In this study, we evaluated the habitat change and population centroid shift for 7 orders and 23 different species on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red List of migratory birds from 2014-2017 in current to mid-21st (2041-2700) century by Maximum Entropy method (MaxEnt) model. We found striking spatial variation in the suitability in geography, with Yangtze River basin losing 9.74% of suitable habitat and Pearl River basin losing 13% of habitat. The area of suitable habitat decreases over 3% of total habitat area in China under the RCP2.6, and decreases about 10% of total habitat area in China under RCP8.5 scenario, with the population centroid of habitat moving about 50 km to northeast on average. Furthermore, the suitability of migratory birds will decrease over 3% in future, which will be difficult for migratory birds to survive. The direction and distance of population centroid are different for every species. Most of the individual species in the study will move over 50 km and all the species will move towards to places with higher suitability. For the whole of China, the constraint for migratory birds is t_min. The dominant variable in southeast China is NDVI, and the northern China is altitude (alt). The decline in suitable habitat area and shift in population centroid will lead to the changes in the time and distance of migration process, resulting in more adverse conditions for the survival of migratory birds. Our study proves the adverse role of climate change in species distribution which is a prerequisite for protecting species in future.