Paper Title: Elevational changes in the avian community of a Mesoamerican cloud forest park
Cloud forests are home to many specialized species. Opwall teams, led by Dr Sam Jones, looked at trends in a 10-yr data set from Cusuco National Park, Honduras, to investigate how bird communities in cloud forests may be changing over time. They found that the bird community as a whole is gradually shifting upslope every year, although it is not clear if this is due to habitat loss in lowland areas, climate change, or both factors. Either way, further habitat conversion and climate change is likely to continue pushing cloud forest bird communities upslope into elevations they have not historically been found, resulting in increased resource competition and mortality. For species with very specialized environments, such as those near the peaks, this upslope shift may even lead to local extinction – a severe threat to cloud forests known as the “escalator to extinction” effect.
Authors: Montague H. C. Neate-Clegg, Samuel E. I. Jones, Oliver Burdekin, Merlijn Jocque, & Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu
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