Global change and ecosystem connectivity: how geese link fields of central Europe to eutrophication of Arctic freshwaters
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAmbio 2016 10.1007/s13280-016-0802-9
Migratory connectivity by birds may mutually affect different ecosystems over large distances. Populations of geese overwintering in southern areas while breeding in high-latitude ecosystems have increased strongly over the past decades. The increase is likely due to positive feedbacks caused by climate change at both wintering, stopover sites and breeding grounds, land-use practices at the overwintering grounds and protection from hunting. Here we show how increasing goose populations in temperate regions, and increased breeding success in the Arctic, entail a positive feedback with strong impacts on Arctic freshwater ecosystems in the form of eutrophication. This may again strongly affect community composition and productivity of the ponds, due to increased nutrient loadings or birds serving as vectors for new species.