Citation: Sandvik, H. (2006) Towards a nomothetic study of the effects of climatic change: causes and correlations revealed by seabird population dynamics [abstract of an oral presentation given at the XXIVth International Ornithological Congress in Hamburg]. Journal of Ornithology, 147 (Supplement 1), 123.
Climatic change is predicted to affect many species in both direct
and indirect ways. However, our ability to forecast the biological consequences of global
change is still severely impaired. A better understanding of how species and ecosystems
respond to naturally occurring climatic oscillations, will therefore be of great importance.
Climatic conditions vary at several temporal and spatial scales. Documentation is
accumulating from both terrestrial and aquatic animals that this climatic variability exerts
effects on a variety of morphological, demographic and other parameters. However, thus far
many studies merely report whether or not or how strongly a set of biological parameters
co-varies with climatic parameters. The underlying causes are often far more poorly
understood. This is so partly because most studies centre on the population level.
In addition to descriptive studies of this kind, one should therefore aim at understanding
why species differ in their responses, both in sign and magnitude. In order to achieve this,
it is necessary to carry out interspecific comparative studies.