Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Suitability, success and sinks: How do predictions of nesting distributions relate to fitness parameters in high arctic waders?

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Aim: Although habitat suitability maps derived from species distribution models (SDMs) are often assumed to highlight locations that can sustain healthy populations over time, the relationship between suitability scores and fitness parameters has rarely been tested thoroughly. Location: Zackenberg Valley, north-east Greenland. Methods: Using 14 years of data (1997-2010) representing three wader species (dunlin Calidris alpina, sanderling Calidris alba and ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres), we tested the relationships between modelled suitability and fitness parameters at nesting locations. Results: Among the three species examined, only the ruddy turnstone exhibited significant relationships between suitability and nest success, but over time rather than space. During years with extensive snow cover in the landscape, the nesting sites of ruddy turnstone occurred in different habitats than were typically used across years. Moreover, in years with extensive snow cover, the ruddy turnstone initiated nests later and suffered from higher egg predation rates. Main conclusion: Our results suggest that SDMs derived from species occurrences that include years of low reproductive success may over-estimate the potential suitable habitat in the landscape. Whenever possible, variation in reproductive success should be considered when building models to inform species' response to environmental change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Volume19
Issue12
Pages (from-to)1496–1505
ISSN1366-9516
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Projects

ID: 55392725