BTO work on climate change can be divided into three main areas:
- Documenting the impacts of climate change on biodiversity
- Developing and using approaches for predicting future impacts of climate change to identify the most vulnerable species and habitats
- Improving the evidence base to inform how conservation needs to adapt to climate change
Although much of our work has a UK bird focus, we also work internationally and on other taxa.
A national-scale assessment of climate change impacts on species: assessing the balance of risks and opportunities for multiple taxa.
Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change
Caterpillars and caterpillar-eating birds: out of synch in space and time?
The increasing temperatures associated with a changing climate may disrupt ecological systems, including by affecting the timing of key events. If events within different trophic levels are affected in different ways then this can lead to what is known as trophic mismatch. But what is the evidence...
What's Under Your Feet?
A new study, supported by EDF Energy and BTO, has looked into soil invertebrate communities in the UK using large-scale citizen science data from schools.
Does climate change bring us invasive species?
Non-native species are becoming a more common sight, but is this linked to the changing climate? A new BTO study investigates whether it's possible to predict which non-native species are likely to establish in the UK.
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Initial findings suggest that Lesser Black-backed Gulls in north-west England fly within wind farms, but may avoid wind turbines once there.
Take part in BBS - counting for conservation
The Breeding Bird Survey is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common and widespread breeding birds.
Does the early bird catch the caterpillar?
Recently published research led by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) sheds new light on the impact that climate change has had on common and widespread songbirds across the UK.
Climate change will change bird communities
With climate change a continuing pressure on birds, this new study discovered the effects it may have on existing and future populations.
Protected sites are assigned based on population statistics for vulnerable and endangered species. This new study using WeBS data shows that changes in population size can affect local abundance, and thus influence whether or not key targets are met for site protection.
A New Approach to Modelling the Relationship Between Annual Population Abundance Indices and Weather Data
Swedish birds are tracking temperature but not rainfall: evidence from a decade of abundance changes
Declining coastal bird populations in Great Britain: victims of climate change and sea-level rise?
Curlews and godwits - the vanishing tribe
New collaborative research led by the BTO investigates reasons for recent losses in curlews and godwits worldwide and identifies conservation measures which could be put in place to halt the declines.
Birds and butterflies struggle to adapt to climate change where natural habitat is lacking
New collaborative research involving the BTO has looked at the impact of climate change and habitat loss on a suite on British bird and butterfly species.
Assessing the impact of offshore wind farms on seabird populations
New research from the BTO has examined the different analytical tools used to assess the likely population-level impact of offshore wind farm developments on seabirds, finding that these vary widely and are influenced to a large extent by the assumptions made at the start of the analysis.
Butterfly and moth responses to temperature vary with season
BTO has led the way in developing a new indicator to detect the effects of climate change on ecological communities, using British butterflies and moths as an example.
Samantha works on a range of projects examining the affect of climate and habitat change on bird populations, with a particular focus on migrants and waders.
Dario works on a range of projects aimed at modelling species distribution, understanding the effects of recent climate change, predicting the effects of climate change on bird populations, assessing bird population trends and producing biodiversity indicators.
Blaise's role is to carry out ecological research, primarily on climate change impacts. Recent projects include multi-taxa modelling of the impact of climate change on UK biodiversity and the impacts of phenological mismatch. Much of her work involves combining BTO's large-scale datasets with data from other national monitoring schemes.
Too wet to nest?
Data gathered by nest recorders helps us understand why some nests are successful and others are not. Recent BTO research has developed a method to analyse nest record data more effectively, and revealed some intriguing differences in the effect of rainfall on Blackbird nest success.
Climate change impacts on UK biodiversity: declining moths and increasing aphids
Climate change may affect species populations and disrupt ecological communities. Cross-cutting analysis led by BTO has identified that climate change may have contributed to declines in UK moth populations, and increases in the numbers of flying aphids, since the 1970s.
Northern Wrens weather the winter better than southerners
BTO research reveals that one of our most widespread songbirds – the Wren – varies in its resilience to winter weather, depending on where in Britain it lives. Scottish Wrens are larger than those living in southern Britain, and are more resilient to hard winter frosts.
Climate change drives bird populations on both sides of the Atlantic
New research involving the BTO shows how the populations of hundreds of species of common birds are consistently responding to the effects of climate change on two continents - Europe and North America.