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    An upward shift in elevation is one of the most conspicuous species responses to climate change. Nevertheless, downward shifts and, apparently, the absences of response have also been recently reported. Given the growing evidence of multiple responses of species distributions due to climate change and the paucity of studies in the tropics, we evaluated the response of a montane bird community to climate change, without the confounding effects of landā€use change. To test for elevational shifts, we compared the distribution of 21 avian species in 1998 and 2015 using occupancy models. The historical data set was based on point counts, whereas the contemporary data set was based on acoustic monitoring. We detected a similar number of species in historical (36) and contemporary data sets (33). We show an overall pattern of no significant change in range limits for most species, although there was a significant shift in the range limit of eight species (38%). Elevation limits shifted mostly upward, and this pattern was more common for upper than lower limits. Our results highlight the variability of species responses to climate change and illustrate how acoustic monitoring provides an easy and powerful way to monitor animal populations along elevational gradients.

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    Campos-Cerqueira, Marconi; Arendt, Wayne J.; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Aide, T. Mitchell. 2017. Have bird distributions shifted along an elevational gradient on a tropical mountain?. Ecology and Evolution. 7(23): 9914-9924.


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    acoustic monitoring, birds, climate change, species distribution, Puerto Rico.

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