Santangeli, A., Lehikoinen, A., Bock, A., Peltonen-Sainio, P., Jauhiainen, L., Girardello, M. & Valkama, J. (2018) Stronger response of farmland birds than farmers to climate change leads to the emergence of an ecological trap.Biological Conservation, 217, 166-172. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.002 (IF2016 4,022; Q1 Ecology)
Climate change is triggering adaptation by people and wildlife. The speed and magnitude of these responses may disrupt ecological equilibria and potentially cause further biodiversity losses, but this has rarely been studied. Species inhabiting human-dominated landscapes may be particularly negatively affected by human adaptations to climate change. This could be, for example, the case of ground-nesting farmland birds, a group of highly vulnerable species that may be impacted by shifts in the timing of mechanical farming operations in response to climate change. Here we aim to explore whether trends in phenology of breeding ground-nesting birds differ from those of farming practices, and whether differences lead to the emergence of phenological mistiming with detrimental consequences to the birds. To achieve our objective, we ran linear mixed effects models using a 38-year dataset on onset of farming practices (i.e. sowing dates) and laying date of two endangered ground-nesting farmland birds (Northern lapwing and Eurasian curlew) in Finland. We found that timing of farming practices advanced slower than birds nesting phenology, with birds progressively starting nesting before fields are sown. These nests are at high risk of destruction from incoming sowing operations. The results highlight the importance of considering human adaptation responses, in addition to those of wildlife, for implementing species conservation in managed landscapes under climate change.