University of Oulu

Bailey, L.D., van de Pol, M., Adriaensen, F. et al. Bird populations most exposed to climate change are less sensitive to climatic variation. Nat Commun 13, 2112 (2022).

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

Saved in:
Author: Bailey, Liam D.1,2; van de Pol, Martijn1,3; Adriaensen, Frank4;
Organizations: 1Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Dept Anim Ecol, Wageningen, Netherlands.
2Leibniz Inst Zoo & Wildlife Res IZW, Dept Evolutionary Genet, Berlin, Germany.
3James Cook Univ, Coll Sci & Engn, Townsville, Qld, Australia.
4Univ Antwerp, Dept Biol, Evolutionary Ecol Grp, Univ Pl 1, Antwerp, Belgium.
5Polish Acad Sci, Inst Systemat & Evolut Anim, Krakow, Poland.
6Univ Valencia, Cavanilles Inst Biodivers & Evolutionary Biol, Valencia, Spain.
7RSPB Ctr Conservat Sci, Sandy, Beds, England.
8Sorbonne Univ, Ctr Ecol & Sci Conservat UMR 7204, Museum Natl Hist Nat, Paris, France.
9INRAE, PSH, Plantes & Syst Culture Hort, Avignon, France.
10Univ Exeter, Ctr Res Anim Behav, Exeter, Devon, England.
11Univ Montpellier, EPHE, CNRS, IRD,Ctr Ecol Fonct & Evolut, Montpellier, France.
12Stn Ornitol Aegithalos, Palermo, Italy.
13Univ Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Univ Lyon, CNRS UMR 5558, Lab Biometrie & Biol Evolut, Lyon, France.
14Jagiellonian Univ, Inst Environm Sci, Krakow, Poland.
15Univ New South Wales, Ecol & Evolut Res Ctr, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
16Univ New South Wales, Sch Biol Environm & Earth Sci, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
17Polish Acad Sci, Museum & Inst Zool, Warsaw, Poland.
18Univ Antwerp, Dept Biol, Behav Ecol & Ecophysiol Grp, Antwerp, Belgium.
19Univ Turku, Dept Biol, Turku, Finland.
20Univ Turku, Kevo Subarctic Res Inst, Turku, Finland.
21Cardiff Univ, Cardiff Sch Biosci, Cardiff, Wales.
22Univ Gloucestershire, Sch Nat & Social Sci, Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham, Glos, England.
23Univ Lancaster, Lancaster Environm Ctr, Lancaster, England.
24UK Ctr Ecol & Hydrol, Wallingford, Oxon, England.
25Lomonosov Moscow State Univ, Zvenigorod Biol Stn, Moscow, Russia.
26Nat Res Ctr, Vilnius, Lithuania.
27Max Planck Inst Ornithol, Dept Behav Ecol & Evolutionary Genet, Seewiesen, Germany.
28Lomonosov Moscow State Univ, Fac Biol, Dept Vertebrate Zool, Moscow, Russia.
29Environm Board, Dept Nat Conservat, Tallinn, Estonia.
30Lund Univ, Dept Biol, Evolutionary Ecol, Lund, Sweden.
31Univ Oulu, Dept Ecol & Genet, Oulu, Finland.
32Museu Ciencies Nat Barcelona, Evolutionary & Behav Ecol Res Unit, Barcelona, Spain.
33Univ Oxford, Edward Grey Inst, Dept Zool, Oxford, England.
34ISPRA, Rome, Italy.
35Univ Sussex, Sch Life Sci, Sussex, E Sussex, England.
36Eotvos Lorand Univ, Dept Systemat Zool & Ecol, Behav Ecol Grp, Budapest, Hungary.
37Univ Helsinki, Fac Biol & Environm Sci, Organismal & Evolutionary Biol Res Programme, Ecol Genet Res Unit, Helsinki, Finland.
38Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, Ctr Biodivers Dynam, Dept Biol, Trondheim, Norway.
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-04


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.

see all

Series: Nature communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
ISSN-E: 2041-1723
ISSN-L: 2041-1723
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Article number: 2112
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29635-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: We would like to give a special acknowledgement to all the fieldworkers who have been invaluable in helping collect these many decades of data. We acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project UERRA data providers in the ECA&D project ( study in Moscow region (E.I. and A.B.K.) was supported by Russian Science Foundation (RSF Grant No. 20-44-01005). This study was also funded by research project CGL-2020 PID2020-114907GB-C21 (to J.C.S.) from the Ministry of Economy and Competitivity, Spanish Research Council. A.C. was funded by the European Research Council (Starting grant ERC-2013-StG-337365-SHE). J.T. was funded by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (K-115970). S.M.D. was supported by the Discovery Early Career Fellowship (Australian Research Council, grant no. DE180100202). Long-term study on Gotland continues thanks to access provided by local landowners, and receives continuing funding from the Polish National Science Centre (most recently grants no. 2020/39/B/NZ8/01274 and 2015/18/E/NZ8/00505).
Dataset Reference: The phenology data and population characteristics data used in this study and the temperature data used to run sliding window analysis for Sicily and Vlieland are available in the Zenodo repository ( The E-OBS Gridded Dataset v17.0 is freely available on request from the European Climate Assessment & Dataset project (ECA&D; The data generated from sliding time window analysis, randomisation and fitting of structural equation models are available in the Zenodo repository ( A summary of results for each population generated in this study is also provided in the Supplementary Data 1.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit