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Phenotypic plasticity alone cannot explain climate-induced change in avian migration timing


Van Buskirk, Josh; Mulvihill, Robert S; Leberman, Robert C (2012). Phenotypic plasticity alone cannot explain climate-induced change in avian migration timing. Ecology and Evolution, 2(10):2430-2437.

Abstract

Recent climate change has been linked to shifts in the timing of life cycle events in many organisms, but there is debate over the degree to which phenological changes are caused by evolved genetic responses of populations or by phenotypic plasticity of individuals. We estimated plasticity of spring arrival date in 27 species of bird that breed in the vicinity of an observatory in eastern North America. For 2441 individuals detected in multiple years, arrival occurred earlier during warm years, especially in species that migrate short distances. Phenotypic plasticity averaged -0.93 days∙°C-1 ± 0.70 (95% CI). However, plasticity accounted for only 13-25% of the climate-induced trend in phenology observed over 46 years. Although our approach probably underestimates the full scope of plasticity, the data suggest that part of the response to environmental change has been caused by microevolution. The estimated evolutionary rates are plausible (0.016 haldanes).

Recent climate change has been linked to shifts in the timing of life cycle events in many organisms, but there is debate over the degree to which phenological changes are caused by evolved genetic responses of populations or by phenotypic plasticity of individuals. We estimated plasticity of spring arrival date in 27 species of bird that breed in the vicinity of an observatory in eastern North America. For 2441 individuals detected in multiple years, arrival occurred earlier during warm years, especially in species that migrate short distances. Phenotypic plasticity averaged -0.93 days∙°C-1 ± 0.70 (95% CI). However, plasticity accounted for only 13-25% of the climate-induced trend in phenology observed over 46 years. Although our approach probably underestimates the full scope of plasticity, the data suggest that part of the response to environmental change has been caused by microevolution. The estimated evolutionary rates are plausible (0.016 haldanes).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:12 Sep 2012 08:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:56
Publisher:Wiley Open Access
ISSN:2045-7758
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.367
PubMed ID:23145329
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64496

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