Modelling pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) wintering distributions for the year 2050: potential effects of land-use change in Europe

Authors

  • Mary Wisz,

    1. Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark,
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  • Nicolas Dendoncker,

    1. Department of Geography, Université Catholique de Louvain, Place Louis Pasteur 3, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JN, UK,
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  • Jesper Madsen,

    1. Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark,
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  • Mark Rounsevell,

    1. Department of Geography, Université Catholique de Louvain, Place Louis Pasteur 3, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JN, UK,
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  • Martin Jespersen,

    1. Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark,
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  • Eckhart Kuijken,

    1. Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Kliniekstraat 25, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium,
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  • Wouter Courtens,

    1. Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Kliniekstraat 25, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium,
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  • Christine Verscheure,

    1. Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Kliniekstraat 25, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium,
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  • Fred Cottaar

    1. Lutulistraat 42, NL-2037 CB Haarlem, the Netherlands
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*Correspondence: Mary Wisz, Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark. E-mail: msw@dmu.dk

ABSTRACT

Feeding on farmland by overwintering populations of pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) conflicts with agricultural interests in Northern Europe. In order to forecast the potential future of this conflict, we used generalized linear models to relate the presence and absence of pink-footed geese to variables describing the contemporary landscape, and predicted their future distributions in relation to two land-use scenarios for the year 2050. One future scenario represented a global, economically orientated world (A1) and the other represented a regional, environmentally concerned world (B2). The probability of goose occurrence increased within cropland and grassland, and could be explained by their proximity to coast, elevation, and the degree of habitat closure. Predictions to future scenarios revealed noticeable shifts in the suitability of goose habitat evident at the local and regional scale in response to future shifts in land use. In particular, as grasslands and croplands give way to unsuitable land-use types (e.g. woody biofuel crops, increased urbanization, and forest) under both future scenarios, our models predicted a decrease in habitat suitability for geese. If coupled with continued goose population expansion, we expect that the agricultural conflict will intensify under the A1 and particularly the B2 scenarios.

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