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Bird populations most exposed to climate change are less sensitive to climatic variation

Abstract : The phenology of many species shows strong sensitivity to climate change; however, with few large scale intra-specific studies it is unclear how such sensitivity varies over a species’ range. We document large intra-specific variation in phenological sensitivity to temperature using laying date information from 67 populations of two co-familial European songbirds, the great tit ( Parus major ) and blue tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus ), covering a large part of their breeding range. Populations inhabiting deciduous habitats showed stronger phenological sensitivity than those in evergreen and mixed habitats. However, populations with higher sensitivity tended to have experienced less rapid change in climate over the past decades, such that populations with high phenological sensitivity will not necessarily exhibit the strongest phenological advancement. Our results show that to effectively assess the impact of climate change on phenology across a species’ range it will be necessary to account for intra-specific variation in phenological sensitivity, climate change exposure, and the ecological characteristics of a population.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 4:44:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 3:18:49 AM


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Liam D Bailey, Martijn van de Pol, Frank Adriaensen, Aneta Arct, Emilio Barba, et al.. Bird populations most exposed to climate change are less sensitive to climatic variation. Nature Communications, 2022, 13 (1), pp.2112. ⟨10.1038/s41467-022-29635-4⟩. ⟨hal-03821533⟩



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