Scale is a key ingredient when tracking biodiversity, researchers say

Insectivorous birds such as this Prairie warbler (Setophaga discolor) showed the most drastic declines across all geographic scales, from local to continental. (Photo credit: Julie Hart)
July 2, 2018

Jarzyna and Jetz studied 50 years of data on nesting birds in North America and tracked biodiversity changes on a local, regional, and continental scale. They found significant differences in how much change had occurred, based upon how wide a geographic net they cast, which implies that gains or apparent stasis at one scale may be fully reconcilable with losses at others. They also found that the functional implications of biodiversity change will vary by scale and functional component. For example, while insectivorous birds declined across local, regional, and continental scales, scavenging birds showed increases mostly at local scales and open water foragers increased at regional and continental scales. The results highlight the importance of scale when assessing biodiversity change.

View article at YaleNews