Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/ece3.1824
Title (Primary) Earlier breeding, lower success: does the spatial scale of climatic conditions matter in a migratory passerine bird?
Author Grimm, A.; Weiß, B.M.; Kulik, L.; Mihoub, J.-B.; Mundry, R.; Köppen, U.; Brueckmann, T.; Thomsen, R.; Widdig, A.
Source Titel Ecology and Evolution
Year 2015
Department NSF; iDiv
Volume 5
Issue 23
Page From 5722
Page To 5734
Language englisch
Keywords Barn swallow;breeding success;climate change;Hirundo rustica;local temperature;NAO;North Atlantic Oscillation;phenology;scale sensitivity
UFZ wide themes RU1
Abstract Following over 20 years of research on the climatic effects on biodiversity we now have strong evidence that climate change affects phenology, fitness, and distribution ranges of different taxa, including birds. Bird phenology likely responds to changes in local weather. It is also affected by climatic year-to-year variations on larger scales. Although such scale-related effects are common in ecology, most studies analyzing the effects of climate change were accomplished using climatic information on a single spatial scale. In this study, we aimed at determining the scale-dependent sensitivity of breeding phenology and success to climate change in a migratory passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). For both annual broods, we investigated effects of local weather (local scale) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO, large scale) on the timing of breeding and breeding success. Consistent with previous studies in migratory birds we found that barn swallows in Eastern Germany bred progressively earlier. At the same time, they showed reduced breeding success over time in response to recent climatic changes. Responses to climatic variation were observed on both local and large climatic scales, but they differed with respect to the ecological process considered. Specifically, we found that the timing of breeding was primarily influenced by large-scale NAO variations and to a lesser extent by local weather on the breeding grounds. Conversely, climatic conditions on the local scale affected breeding success, exclusively. The observed decrease in breeding success over years is likely a consequence of scale-related mismatches between climatic conditions during different breeding phases. This provides further evidence that a species' response of earlier breeding may not be enough to cope with climate change. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the response of ecological processes along different climatic scales in order to better understand the complexity of climate change effects on biodiversity.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Grimm, A., Weiß, B.M., Kulik, L., Mihoub, J.-B., Mundry, R., Köppen, U., Brueckmann, T., Thomsen, R., Widdig, A. (2015):
Earlier breeding, lower success: does the spatial scale of climatic conditions matter in a migratory passerine bird?
Ecol. Evol. 5 (23), 5722 - 5734 10.1002/ece3.1824