Climate change will lead to substantial shifts in species distributions. Most of the predictions of shifting distributions rely on modelling future distributions with ecological niche models. We used these models to investigate (i) the expected species turnover, loss and gain within bird communities of four South African biomes and (ii) the expected changes in the body mass frequency distributions of these communities. We used distributional data of the Southern African Bird Atlas Project, current climate data and two scenarios of future climate change for 2050 to build ensemble models of bird distributions. Our results indicate that future species loss, gain and turnover within the four biomes will be considerable. Climate change will also have statistically significant effects on body mass frequency distributions, and these effects differ substantially depending on the severity of future climate change. We discuss the possible ecological effects of these predicted changes on ecosystem interactions and functions.
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