Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of global change on bird and beetle populations in boreal forest landscape: an assemblage dissimilarity analysis, 2023. Hébert, C.; Bouderbala, Il.; Labadie, G.; Béland, J-M.; Boulanger, Y.; Desrosiers, P.; Allard, A.; Fortin, D.; Diversity and Distributions, 00, 1–17.

Year: 2023

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40931

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13697

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Aim: Despite an increasing number of studies highlighting the impacts of climate change on boreal species, the main factors that will drive changes in species assemblages remain ambiguous. We study how species community composition would change following anthropogenic and natural disturbances. We determine the main drivers of assemblage dissimilarity for bird and beetle communities.

Location: Côte-Nord, Québec, Canada.

Methods: We quantify two climate-induced pathways based on direct and indirect effects on species occurrence under different forest harvest management scenarios. The direct climate effects illustrate the impact of climate variables while the indirect effects are reflected through habitat-based climate change. We develop empirical models to predict the distribution of 127 and 108 species under climate-habitat and habitat-only models, respectively, over the next century. We analyse the regional and the latitudinal species assemblage dissimilarity by decomposing it into balanced variation in species occupancy and occurrence and occupancy and occurrence gradient.

Results: Both pathways increased dissimilarity in species assemblage. At the regional scale, both effects have an impact on decreasing the number of winning species. Yet, responses are much larger in magnitude under mixed climate effects. Regional assemblage dissimilarity reached 0.77 and 0.69 under mixed effects versus 0.09 and 0.10 under indirect effects for beetles and birds, respectively, between RCP8.5 and baseline climate scenarios when considering forest harvesting. Latitudinally, assemblage dissimilarity increased following the climate conditions pattern.

Main conclusions: The two pathways are complementary and alter biodiversity, mainly caused by species turnover. Yet, responses are much larger in magnitude under mixed climate effects. Therefore, inclusion of climatic variables considers aspects other than just those related to forest landscapes, such as life cycles of animal species. Moreover, we expect differences in occupancy between the two studied taxa. This could indicate the potential range of change in boreal species concerning novel environmental conditions.