University of Oulu

Vriend, Stefan J. G., Grøtan, Vidar, Gamelon, Marlène, Adriaensen, Frank, Ahola, Markus P., Álvarez, Elena, Bailey, Liam D., et al. 2023. “ Temperature Synchronizes Temporal Variation in Laying Dates across European Hole-Nesting Passerines.” Ecology 104(2): e3908.

Temperature synchronizes temporal variation in laying dates across European hole-nesting passerines

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Author: Vriend, Stefan J. G.1,2; Grotan, Vidar1; Gamelon, Marlene1,3;
Organizations: 1Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, Ctr Biodivers Dynam, Dept Biol, Trondheim, Norway.
2Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Dept Anim Ecol, Wageningen, Netherlands.
3Univ Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, Lab Biometrie & Biol Evolut UMR5558, Villeurbanne, France.
4Univ Antwerp, Dept Biol, Evolutionary Ecol Grp, Antwerp, Belgium.
5Swedish Museum Nat Hist, Environm Res & Monitoring, Stockholm, Sweden.
6Univ Valencia, Cavanilles Inst Biodivers & Evolutionary Biol, Ecol Terr Vertebrates, Valencia, Spain.
7Forschungsverbund Berlin eV, Dept Evolutionary Genet, Leibniz Inst Zoo & Wildlife Res IZW, Berlin, Germany.
8INRAE, Plantes & Syst Culture Hort, Avignon, France.
9RSPB Ctr Conservat Sci, Sandy, Beds, England.
10Univ Exeter, Ctr Res Anim Behav, Exeter, Devon, England.
11Moscow MV Lomonosov State Univ, Dept Vertebrate Zool, Moscow, Russia.
12Pyrenean Inst Ecol IPE CSIC, Dept Biol Conservat & Ecosyst Restorat, Jaca, Spain.
13Ctr Ecol Res, Inst Ecol & Bot, Vacratot, Hungary.
14Univ Montpellier, EPHE, CNRS, CEFE,IRD, Montpellier, France.
15Univ Oxford, Edward Grey Inst, Dept Zool, Oxford, England.
16Stn Ornitol Aegithalos, Monreale, Italy.
17Uppsala Univ, Dept Ecol & Genet Anim Ecol, Uppsala, Sweden.
18Jagiellonian Univ, Inst Environm Sci, Krakow, Poland.
19Univ New South Wales, Evolut & Ecol Res Ctr, Sch Biol Environm & Earth Sci, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
20Polish Acad Sci, Museum & Inst Zool, Warsaw, Poland.
21Univ Antwerp, Dept Biol, Behav Ecol & Ecophysiol Grp, Antwerp, Belgium.
22Univ Turku, Dept Biol, Turku, Finland.
23Univ Turku, Kevo Subarctic Res Inst, Turku, Finland.
24Norwegian Inst Nat Res NINA, FRAM High North Res Ctr Climate & Environm, Tromso, Norway.
25Cardiff Univ, Cardiff Sch Biosci, Cardiff, Wales.
26Univ Gloucestershire, Sch Nat & Social Sci, Cheltenham, Glos, England.
27Univ Lancaster, Lancaster Environm Ctr, Lancaster, England.
28Ctr Ecol & Hydrol, Wallingford, Oxon, England.
29Moscow MV Lomonosov State Univ, Zvenigorod Biol Stn, Moscow, Russia.
30Nat Res Ctr, Vilnius, Lithuania.
31Max Planck Inst Ornithol, Dept Behav Ecol & Evolutionary Genet, Seewiesen, Germany.
32Norwegian Inst Nat Res NINA, Dept Terr Ecol, Trondheim, Norway.
33Environm Board, Dept Nat Conservat, Saarde, Estonia.
34Univ Oulu, Ecol & Genet Res Unit, Oulu, Finland.
35Univ Antwerp, Antwerp Sch Educ, Res Grp Didact, Antwerp, Belgium.
36Museu Ciencies Nat Barcelona, Evolutionary & Behav Ecol Res Unit, Barcelona, Spain.
37Inst Environm Protect & Res, Rome, Italy.
38Eotvos Lorand Univ, Dept Systemat Zool & Ecol, Behav Ecol Grp, Budapest, Hungary.
39Univ Helsinki, Ecol Genet Res Unit, Organismal & Evolutionary Biol Res Programme, Helsinki, Finland.
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 10.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-17


Identifying the environmental drivers of variation in fitness-related traits is a central objective in ecology and evolutionary biology. Temporal fluctuations of these environmental drivers are often synchronized at large spatial scales. Yet, whether synchronous environmental conditions can generate spatial synchrony in fitness-related trait values (i.e., correlated temporal trait fluctuations across populations) is poorly understood. Using data from long-term monitored populations of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus, n = 31), great tits (Parus major, n = 35), and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca, n = 20) across Europe, we assessed the influence of two local climatic variables (mean temperature and mean precipitation in February-May) on spatial synchrony in three fitness-related traits: laying date, clutch size, and fledgling number. We found a high degree of spatial synchrony in laying date but a lower degree in clutch size and fledgling number for each species. Temperature strongly influenced spatial synchrony in laying date for resident blue tits and great tits but not for migratory pied flycatchers. This is a relevant finding in the context of environmental impacts on populations because spatial synchrony in fitness-related trait values among populations may influence fluctuations in vital rates or population abundances. If environmentally induced spatial synchrony in fitness-related traits increases the spatial synchrony in vital rates or population abundances, this will ultimately increase the risk of extinction for populations and species. Assessing how environmental conditions influence spatiotemporal variation in trait values improves our mechanistic understanding of environmental impacts on populations.

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Series: Ecology
ISSN: 0012-9658
ISSN-E: 1939-9170
ISSN-L: 0012-9658
Volume: 104
Issue: 2
Article number: e3908
DOI: 10.1002/ecy.3908
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Research Council of Norway, Grant/Award Number: 223257; University of Antwerp; FWO Flanders; Norwegian Environment Agency; Max Planck Society; ARAID; Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, Grant/Award Number: PID2019-104835GB-I00; Hungarian Academy of Sciences; DECRA, Grant/Award Number: DE180100202; Ministry of Science and Innovation; Swedish Research Council; CNRS; Polish National Science Centre, Grant/Award Numbers: UMO-2012/07/D/NZ8/01317, UMO-2015/18/E/NZ8/00505; OSU-OREME; RSF-FWO, Grant/Award Number: 20-44-01005
Dataset Reference: The data supporting the results and the R code for the analyses (Vriend et al., 2022) are available in Figshare at:
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.