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CIBIO-InBIO researcher participates in a study published in Nature

CIBIO-InBIO researcher participates in a study published in Nature
CIBIO-InBIO researcher Luis P. da Silva is one of the co-authors of the study "Limited potential for bird migration to disperse plants to cooler latitudes" published in the journal Nature.

The new study, with the participation of 18 researchers from 13 European institutions, has concluded that the majority of plant species in Europe that are dispersed by migratory birds do so mainly when they migrate towards warmer latitudes in the south, which is counterproductive to adapt to current climate change scenarios.

The research has been based on 13 plant-bird interaction networks, that is, 13 bird communities that consume fruits and disperse the seeds of these plant communities. Researchers have incorporated into these networks information on the plant fruiting period and the timming of bird migratory patterns, to characterize the potential for long-distance seed dispersal towards cooler or warmer latitudes. The results show that 86% of the studied plant species can be dispersed South but only 35% to North, during bird long distance migrations.

Researchers suggest that this limited potential for dispersal towards new suitable areas may have consequences for composition of future woodland communities, as most species could lag behind the fast raising temperatures. Thus, this research is key for understanding, halting and mitigating future biodiversity losses due to climate change.

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To see a video explaining this study please click here

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