Climate warming explains half of the magnitude of temporal changes in life-history traits [post]

Nina McLean, Loeske E. B. Kruuk, Henk van der Jeugd, Dave Leech, Chris van Turnhout, Martijn van de Pol
2020 unpublished
Many wild populations are showing changes in phenotypic traits. However, the common assumption that such changes are driven by climate change relies on three conditions: that local climate is changing over time, that trait(s) are sensitive to climate variability, and that other causal agents are not also changing. We used long-term datasets on 60 bird species to test these conditions and to quantify the contribution of warming temperatures to changes in three important life-history traits.
more » ... s species, approximately half of the magnitude of changes in traits could be attributed to a single temperature window, with averages of 50% for laying date, 40% for body condition and 56% for offspring numbers. Thus, although warming temperatures were a key driver of change, other unknown factors contributed substantially to temporal trends (typically reinforcing change). Further analyses showed that these non-temperature-driven contributions explained most of the inter-specific variation in trait changes.
doi:10.21203/ fatcat:ifucyrlbe5ft3ogbbvp2aopymu