Climate-altered wetlands: A challenge for waterbirds in the Great Basin

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This study’s findings suggest that a reduced hydroperiod and lower water quality from reduction in water level and flow limits sites used by waterbirds. These factors reduce chick survivorship as they cannot metabolize saline water, which makes suitable freshwater conditions a limiting resource. Collectively, climate-induced changes in Great Basin wetlands suggest a major shift in freshwater ecosystems, resulting in degradation of a continental migratory route. This work illustrates the importance of examining multi-scale changes in critical regional resources to understand their impact across a hemispheric flyway and provides a model to examine other flyways.

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