Age isn’t just a number: New research shows song sparrows are affected by climate change differently depending on age
Climate change affects many species, but can it affect a particular one as a whole? Two studies from the University of California, Davis, and Point Blue Conservation Science have some interesting theories. Through their research of using the various stages and ages of individuals in a species, they have not only predicted how climate change could affect a species, but also why.
Lead author Kristen Dybala, a postdoctoral scholar in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology says, “To learn how climate change is expected to affect an individual population, you have to look at demography. If you don’t break it down by these different stages, you get a different understanding that may be misleading, or worse, that’s just wrong.”
In a study published today in the journal Global Change Biology, climate change had opposite projected effects for adult and juvenile song sparrows in central coastal California. While it is evident that adult survival is sensitive to cold winter weather, warmer, drier winters mean less food for juvenile sparrows during the following summer.
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