Temperature synchronizes temporal variation in laying dates across European hole‐nesting passerines

Vriend, Stefan J.G.; Grøtan, Vidar; Gamelon, Marlène; Adriaensen, Frank; Ahola, Markus P.; Álvarez, Elena; Bailey, Liam D.; Barba, Emilio; Bouvier, Jean‐Charles; Burgess, Malcolm D.; Bushuev, Andrey; Camacho, Carlos; Canal, David; Charmantier, Anne; Cole, Ella F.; Cusimano, Camillo; Doligez, Blandine F.; Drobniak, Szymon M.; Dubiec, Anna; Eens, Marcel; Eeva, Tapio; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Ferns, Peter N.; Goodenough, Anne E.; Hartley, Ian R.; Hinsley, Shelley A. ORCID:; Ivankina, Elena; Juškaitis, Rimvydas; Kempenaers, Bart; Kerimov, Anvar B.; Kålås, John Atle; Lavigne, Claire; Leivits, Agu; Mainwaring, Mark C.; Martínez‐Padilla, Jesús; Matthysen, Erik; van Oers, Kees; Orell, Markku; Pinxten, Rianne; Reiertsen, Tone Kristin; Rytkönen, Seppo; Senar, Juan Carlos; Sheldon, Ben C.; Sorace, Alberto; Török, János; Vatka, Emma; Visser, Marcel E.; Sæther, Bernt‐Erik. 2023 Temperature synchronizes temporal variation in laying dates across European hole‐nesting passerines. Ecology, 104 (2), e3908. 18, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N534714JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (10MB) | Preview


Identifying the environmental drivers of variation in fitness-related traits is a central objective in ecology and evolutionary biology. Temporal fluctuations of these environmental drivers are often synchronized at large spatial scales. Yet, whether synchronous environmental conditions can generate spatial synchrony in fitness-related trait values (i.e., correlated temporal trait fluctuations across populations) is poorly understood. Using data from long-term monitored populations of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus, n = 31), great tits (Parus major, n = 35), and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca, n = 20) across Europe, we assessed the influence of two local climatic variables (mean temperature and mean precipitation in February–May) on spatial synchrony in three fitness-related traits: laying date, clutch size, and fledgling number. We found a high degree of spatial synchrony in laying date but a lower degree in clutch size and fledgling number for each species. Temperature strongly influenced spatial synchrony in laying date for resident blue tits and great tits but not for migratory pied flycatchers. This is a relevant finding in the context of environmental impacts on populations because spatial synchrony in fitness-related trait values among populations may influence fluctuations in vital rates or population abundances. If environmentally induced spatial synchrony in fitness-related traits increases the spatial synchrony in vital rates or population abundances, this will ultimately increase the risk of extinction for populations and species. Assessing how environmental conditions influence spatiotemporal variation in trait values improves our mechanistic understanding of environmental impacts on populations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0012-9658
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: birds, climate, clutch size, comparative analysis, fitness-related traits, fledgling number, phenology, spatial synchrony, timing of breeding, weather
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 20 Jun 2023 14:18 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...