Evidence for evolutionary response in the advancing phenology of a migratory bird

  • Helm, B. (Speaker)
  • Benjamin Van Doren (Contributor)
  • Dieter Hoffmann (Contributor)
  • Ute Hoffmann (Contributor)

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Migratory birds may not be sufficiently advancing the timing of migration and reproduction to compensate for earlier springs, leading to population declines. Responses to early springs may be constrained by the inherited clock-based timing programmes that regulate long-distance migrations, making evolutionary adjustment the only viable mechanism for keeping pace with shifting phenology. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how rapidly migrants’ circannual timing programmes can evolve. We replicated a laboratory investigation after 21 years of global warming to investigate whether annual-cycle timing had advanced in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), a model for studying constrained ecological responses to climate change. We show that the phase of the flycatcher clock controlling spring moult, migration, and reproductive timing advanced by 6-12 days, whereas no such changes occurred in autumn and winter. A nearby wild population mirrored these changes, advancing egg-laying by 11 days. Furthermore, the time window during which wild flycatcher reproductive timing was most sensitive to ambient temperature advanced by three weeks. These results support a role of an evolutionary response in modifying spring phenology and suggest that the inherited timing programmes of long-distance migratory birds may be more labile than previously thought, leaving some scope for evolutionary rescue in a changing climate.
EvenementstitelNetherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2019
LocatieEde, NetherlandsToon op kaart
Mate van erkenningInternational