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Functional reorganization of North American wintering avifauna
  • Juan Pablo Quimbayo,
  • Stephen Murphy,
  • Marta Jarzyna
Juan Pablo Quimbayo
The Ohio State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Stephen Murphy
The Ohio State University
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Marta Jarzyna
The Ohio State University
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Abstract

Wintering birds serve as vital climate sentinels, yet they are often underrepresented in comprehensive surveys and overlooked in studies of avian diversity change. Here, we provide a continental-scale characterization of change in multiple facets of wintering avifauna and examine the effects of climate change on these dynamics. We reveal a strong functional reorganization of wintering bird communities marked by a distinct east-west gradient in functional diversity change, along with a superimposed north-south gradient in trait composition change. Assemblages in the eastern US saw an expansion of the functional space and increases in functional originality, evenness, and divergence, while the western US saw contractions of the functional space. Shifts in functional diversity were underlined by significant reshuffling in trait composition, particularly pronounced in the northern US. Finally, we find strong contributions of climate change to this functional reorganization, underscoring the importance of wintering birds in tracking climate change impacts on biodiversity.
04 Oct 2023Submitted to Ecology Letters
06 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
06 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
06 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major