Effects of extreme weather on two sympatric australian passerine bird species

Gardner, Janet L., Rowley, Eleanor, De Rebeira, Perry, De Rebeira, Alma, and Brouwer, Lyanne (2017) Effects of extreme weather on two sympatric australian passerine bird species. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372 (1723). 20160148.

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Despite abundant evidence that natural populations are responding to climate change, there are few demonstrations of how extreme climatic events (ECEs) affect fitness. Climate warming increases adverse effects of exposure to high temperatures, but also reduces exposure to cold ECEs. Here, we investigate variation in survival associated with severity of summer and winter conditions, and whether survival is better predicted by ECEs than mean temperatures using data from two coexisting bird species monitored over 37 years in southwestern Australia, red-winged fairy-wrens, Malurus elegans and white-browed scrubwrens, Sericornis frontalis. Changes in survival were associated with temperature extremes more strongly than average temperatures. In scrubwrens, winter ECEs were associated with survival within the same season. In both species, survival was associated with body size, and there was evidence that size-dependent mortality was mediated by carry-over effects of climate in the previous season. For fairy-wrens, mean body size declined over time but this could not be explained by size-dependent mortality as the effects of body size on survival were consistently positive. Our study demonstrates how ECEs can have individual-level effects on survival that are not reflected in long-term morphological change, and the same climatic conditions can affect similar-sized, coexisting species in different ways. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events’.

Item ID: 71431
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2970
Keywords: Carry-over costs, Climate change, Extreme climatic events, Meliphagoidea, Passerine birds, Size-dependent mortality
Copyright Information: © 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP120102651, ARC DE130100174
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 21:36
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310408 Life histories @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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