University of Oulu

Broggi, J., Hohtola, E., Koivula, K. et al. Prehatching temperatures drive inter-annual cohort differences in great tit metabolism. Oecologia 198, 619–627 (2022).

Prehatching temperatures drive inter-annual cohort differences in great tit metabolism

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Author: Broggi, Juli1,2,3; Hohtola, Esa4; Koivula, Kari4;
Organizations: 1Department of Biology, Section of Evolutionary Ecology, University of Lund, 223 62, Lund, Sweden
2Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Av. Américo Vespucio 26, 41092, Sevilla, Spain
3Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006, Madrid, Spain
4Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-25


Basal metabolic rate (BMR) constitutes the lowest metabolic rate in a resting animal and is, therefore, considered to reflect the energetic cost of maintenance in endotherms. BMR is a reversible plastic trait that changes with environmental and ecological circumstances, albeit being heritable and susceptible to selection. Inter-individual variation within populations of small birds is substantial, and while many of the drivers of such variation have been identified, many remain unexplained. We studied winter BMR variation of juveniles over a 15-year period in a wild population of great tits Parus major at the northern border of their distribution. BMR during winter consistently changed between years, even after controlling for environmental factors, suggestive of a non-reversible developmental plasticity shaping the adult metabolic phenotype. BMR in cohorts of wintering great tits varied among winters as a response to minimum ambient temperatures experienced early in life, during the prehatching period. This developmental plasticity might be adaptive if temperatures experienced by growing embryos would metabolically prime them to an environment that they will likely encounter in future life. However, in line with a more unpredictable future climate, the risk of phenotype-environment mismatch is likely to lead to certain cohorts being poorly adapted to prevailing winter conditions, resulting in wider annual fluctuations in population size.

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Series: Oecologia
ISSN: 0029-8549
ISSN-E: 1432-1939
ISSN-L: 0029-8549
Volume: 198
Issue: 3
Pages: 619 - 627
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-022-05126-7
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Open access funding provided by Lund University. JB has been funded by the Andalucía Talent Hub Program launched by the Andalusian Knowledge Agency, co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (COFUND—Grant Agreement no 291780) and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Junta de Andalucía. Supported by the Academy of Finland projects no. 102286 and 47195, and the Thule Institute of the University of Oulu (JB and EH) and by grants from the Swedish Research Council no. S-AA/F0 09677-311, B 650-19981108/2000, 629-2002-1893 and 621-2003-2912 (JÅN).
Dataset Reference: Dataset analysed in this study will be available from the Digital CSIC Repository upon reasonable request.
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