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Effects of extreme weather on reproductive success in a temperate-breeding songbird.

Pipoly I, Bókony V, Seress G, Szabó K, Liker A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C) during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods.Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables.The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Limnology, University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
The frequency of extreme meteorological events such as heat waves and rainstorms is predicted to increase with climate change. However, there is still little information about how extreme weather influences reproduction in animals. It may not only affect breeding success but might also alter offspring sex ratio if males and females are differentially sensitive to meteorological conditions during development. We investigated the relationship between meteorological conditions and reproductive success over 6 years in a house sparrow population in central Europe. We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C) during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods. Fledging success was unrelated to weather variables. However, the frequency of extremely hot days had a negative effect on fledglings' body mass and tarsus length, although both of these traits were positively related to average temperature. Additionally, fledglings' body mass increased with the length of period without rainfall before fledging. Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables. The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success. Our results indicate that meteorological conditions have complex effects on breeding success, as the effects of extreme weather can differ between different aspects of reproduction and also from the effects of overall meteorological conditions.

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Relationship of hatching success with the number of hot days during incubation.Box plots show the median (thick line), interquartile range (box) and the range of data (whiskers); sample sizes are shown below each box.
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pone-0080033-g002: Relationship of hatching success with the number of hot days during incubation.Box plots show the median (thick line), interquartile range (box) and the range of data (whiskers); sample sizes are shown below each box.

Mentions: For hatching success, two important meteorological effects emerged (Table 1, Table S2). A greater proportion of eggs hatched when there were more extremely hot days (Figure 2) and fewer extremely cold days during incubation. However, the latter effect held only for clutches with short incubation periods (Figure 3, see regression plane edge indicated by white arrow). More cold days were associated with increased incubation period length (Figure 3, bottom grid and grey dots), and longer incubation in cold periods was correlated with higher hatching success (Figure 3, light-grey arrow), but prolonged incubation during non-cold periods was associated with reduced hatching success (Figure 3, dark-grey arrow), leading to a positive relationship between the number of cold days and hatching success for long incubation periods (Figure 3, black arrow). For fledging success, all meteorological variables had negligible effects (Table 1, Table S3). Longer nestling periods (i.e. later ringing of nestlings) were associated with lower fledging success (Table 1).


Effects of extreme weather on reproductive success in a temperate-breeding songbird.

Pipoly I, Bókony V, Seress G, Szabó K, Liker A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Relationship of hatching success with the number of hot days during incubation.Box plots show the median (thick line), interquartile range (box) and the range of data (whiskers); sample sizes are shown below each box.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818280&req=5

pone-0080033-g002: Relationship of hatching success with the number of hot days during incubation.Box plots show the median (thick line), interquartile range (box) and the range of data (whiskers); sample sizes are shown below each box.
Mentions: For hatching success, two important meteorological effects emerged (Table 1, Table S2). A greater proportion of eggs hatched when there were more extremely hot days (Figure 2) and fewer extremely cold days during incubation. However, the latter effect held only for clutches with short incubation periods (Figure 3, see regression plane edge indicated by white arrow). More cold days were associated with increased incubation period length (Figure 3, bottom grid and grey dots), and longer incubation in cold periods was correlated with higher hatching success (Figure 3, light-grey arrow), but prolonged incubation during non-cold periods was associated with reduced hatching success (Figure 3, dark-grey arrow), leading to a positive relationship between the number of cold days and hatching success for long incubation periods (Figure 3, black arrow). For fledging success, all meteorological variables had negligible effects (Table 1, Table S3). Longer nestling periods (i.e. later ringing of nestlings) were associated with lower fledging success (Table 1).

Bottom Line: We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C) during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods.Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables.The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Limnology, University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
The frequency of extreme meteorological events such as heat waves and rainstorms is predicted to increase with climate change. However, there is still little information about how extreme weather influences reproduction in animals. It may not only affect breeding success but might also alter offspring sex ratio if males and females are differentially sensitive to meteorological conditions during development. We investigated the relationship between meteorological conditions and reproductive success over 6 years in a house sparrow population in central Europe. We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C) during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods. Fledging success was unrelated to weather variables. However, the frequency of extremely hot days had a negative effect on fledglings' body mass and tarsus length, although both of these traits were positively related to average temperature. Additionally, fledglings' body mass increased with the length of period without rainfall before fledging. Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables. The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success. Our results indicate that meteorological conditions have complex effects on breeding success, as the effects of extreme weather can differ between different aspects of reproduction and also from the effects of overall meteorological conditions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus