Waiting in the wings: Changes in birds’ ranges may greatly affect ecosystems

As changing climate reshapes the geographic range of thousands of bird species in the coming decades, ecosystems across wide swaths of the planet may be compromised, a new study warns.

Based on environmental projections for the rest of the century, the study predicts that some avian species will expand their ranges dramatically, while others will be unable to do so. The result is likely to cause widespread changes to the diverse array of functions these species fulfill in local ecosystems, most notably in tropical and sub-tropical regions, say the scientists. The research appears in the journal Global Change Biology.