Grants and residencies

Research and art

PhD Bosco Laura and working group (Habitat and climate change effects on birds)

127700 €

Influences of habitat loss and fragmentation on climate induced avian range shifts in Finland and across Europe

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

The effect of habitat structure on climate driven distribution changes of animals has not been evaluated at broad spatial and temporal scales. To fill this research gap, this project will unravel the joint effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on climate driven range shifts of European birds. We will quantify the influence of habitat loss and fragmentation on species range shifts, measure their relative importance compared to climate change, and test interactions between different habitat types, species traits and population trends. The analysis utilizes unique long-term and large-scale breeding bird occurrence data from across Europe. Habitat area and fragmentation per habitat type will be calculated based on European land-cover data, while temperature data will serve as proxy for climate change. In a first phase, the project focuses on Finland to understand dynamics of habitat area, fragmentation and climate change confined to the boreal zone. In the second phase we expand the analysis to include other countries across Europe to understand broad-scale interactions between drivers of range shifts and latitude. Based on the proposed project we will understand which species have been facing habitat loss and fragmentation of their breeding habitat over large spatial extends and periods of time, whether those species are slower in shifting their ranges as response to climate change, and whether they show range contractions rather than expansions in synchrony with negative population trends. The project findings will be translated to a modern dance piece, allowing us to communicate science through an artistic lens and gain new perspectives on the subject. At the same time, by bringing the project to the attention of the wider public, we will not only stimulate awareness and a discourse on the complexity of global-change consequences for biodiversity but also support interdisciplinary work by marrying research with contemporary dance.