, Volume 186, Issue 4, pp 907–918 | Cite as

The interacting effects of forestry and climate change on the demography of a group-living bird population

  • Kate Layton-Matthews
  • Arpat Ozgul
  • Michael Griesser
Highlighted Student Research


Anthropogenic degradation of natural habitats is a global driver of wildlife population declines. Local population responses to such environmental perturbations are generally well understood, but in socially structured populations, interactions between environmental and social factors may influence population responses. Thus, understanding how habitat degradation affects the dynamics of these populations requires simultaneous consideration of social and environmental mechanisms underlying demographic responses. Here we investigated the effect of habitat degradation through commercial forestry on spatiotemporal dynamics of a group-living bird, the Siberian jay, Perisoreus infaustus, in boreal forests of northern Sweden. We assessed the interacting effects of forestry, climate and population density on stage-specific, seasonal life-history rates and population dynamics, using long-term, individual-based demographic data from 70 territories in natural and managed forests. Stage-specific survival and reproductive rates, and consequently population growth, were lower in managed forests than in natural forests. Population growth was most sensitive to breeder survival and was more sensitive to early dispersing juveniles than those delaying dispersal. Forestry decreased population growth in managed forests by reducing reproductive success and breeder survival. Increased snow depth improved winter survival, and warmer spring temperatures enhanced reproductive success, particularly in natural forests. Population growth was stable in natural forests but it was declining in managed forests, and this difference accelerated under forecasted climate scenarios. Thus, climatic change could exacerbate the rate of forestry-induced population decline through reduced snow cover in our study species, and in other species with similar life-history characteristics and habitat requirements.


Climate change Forestry Demography Elasticity analysis Multi-state mark-recapture 



We thank Chloe Nater for help with analysis; Folke Lindgren, Jan Ekman, Bohdan Sklepkovych, Sönke Eggers, Magdalena Nystrand, Jonathan Barnaby, Xenia Schleuning, Julian Klein and all field volunteers for collecting the field data; and Susanne Schindler, Christophe Bousquet and Agnes Olin for comments on the manuscript. NetOne provided us the much-needed internet access during the fieldwork. This study has been supported by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (MG: PPOOP3_123520, PP00P3_150752), ERA-Net BiodivERsA (AO, MG: 31BD30_172465), the Swedish Research Council (MG, Jan Ekman), Formas (Jan Ekman), the National Science Centre, Poland, through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant 665778 (MG), and University of Zurich (AO, MG).

Author contribution statement

MG collected the data; KLM and AO analysed the data; KLM wrote the manuscript; AO and MG assisted in writing and revising the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Data accessibility

Data used in this study will be submitted to Dryad.

Supplementary material

442_2018_4100_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (345 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 345 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental StudiesUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Centre for Biodiversity DynamicsNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of Environmental SciencesJagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland

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