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Interspecific variation in the relationship between clutch size, laying date and intensity of urbanization in four species of hole-nesting birds

Vaugoyeau, Marie; Adriaensen, Frank; Artemyev, Alexandr; Bańbura, Jerzy; Barba, Emilio; Biard, Clotilde; Blondel, Jacques; Bouslama, Zihad; Bouvier, Jean-Charles and Camprodon, Jordi, et al. (2016) In Ecology and Evolution 6(16). p.5907-5920
Abstract

The increase in size of human populations in urban and agricultural areas has resulted in considerable habitat conversion globally. Such anthropogenic areas have specific environmental characteristics, which influence the physiology, life history, and population dynamics of plants and animals. For example, the date of bud burst is advanced in urban compared to nearby natural areas. In some birds, breeding success is determined by synchrony between timing of breeding and peak food abundance. Pertinently, caterpillars are an important food source for the nestlings of many bird species, and their abundance is influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and date of bud burst. Higher temperatures and advanced date of bud burst in... (More)

The increase in size of human populations in urban and agricultural areas has resulted in considerable habitat conversion globally. Such anthropogenic areas have specific environmental characteristics, which influence the physiology, life history, and population dynamics of plants and animals. For example, the date of bud burst is advanced in urban compared to nearby natural areas. In some birds, breeding success is determined by synchrony between timing of breeding and peak food abundance. Pertinently, caterpillars are an important food source for the nestlings of many bird species, and their abundance is influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and date of bud burst. Higher temperatures and advanced date of bud burst in urban areas could advance peak caterpillar abundance and thus affect breeding phenology of birds. In order to test whether laying date advance and clutch sizes decrease with the intensity of urbanization, we analyzed the timing of breeding and clutch size in relation to intensity of urbanization as a measure of human impact in 199 nest box plots across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East (i.e., the Western Palearctic) for four species of hole-nesters: blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tits (Parus major), collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis), and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). Meanwhile, we estimated the intensity of urbanization as the density of buildings surrounding study plots measured on orthophotographs. For the four study species, the intensity of urbanization was not correlated with laying date. Clutch size in blue and great tits does not seem affected by the intensity of urbanization, while in collared and pied flycatchers it decreased with increasing intensity of urbanization. This is the first large-scale study showing a species-specific major correlation between intensity of urbanization and the ecology of breeding. The underlying mechanisms for the relationships between life history and urbanization remain to be determined. We propose that effects of food abundance or quality, temperature, noise, pollution, or disturbance by humans may on their own or in combination affect laying date and/or clutch size.

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keywords
Breeding phenology, orthophotograph, passerine birds, population dynamics, urban heat island effect
in
Ecology and Evolution
volume
6
issue
16
pages
14 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84982166255
  • wos:000381578400028
ISSN
2045-7758
DOI
10.1002/ece3.2335
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English
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yes
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6b2f1941-f6ff-429b-82c0-6148e5962268
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2017-07-25 10:53:24
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2017-10-29 05:04:56
@article{6b2f1941-f6ff-429b-82c0-6148e5962268,
  abstract     = {<p>The increase in size of human populations in urban and agricultural areas has resulted in considerable habitat conversion globally. Such anthropogenic areas have specific environmental characteristics, which influence the physiology, life history, and population dynamics of plants and animals. For example, the date of bud burst is advanced in urban compared to nearby natural areas. In some birds, breeding success is determined by synchrony between timing of breeding and peak food abundance. Pertinently, caterpillars are an important food source for the nestlings of many bird species, and their abundance is influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and date of bud burst. Higher temperatures and advanced date of bud burst in urban areas could advance peak caterpillar abundance and thus affect breeding phenology of birds. In order to test whether laying date advance and clutch sizes decrease with the intensity of urbanization, we analyzed the timing of breeding and clutch size in relation to intensity of urbanization as a measure of human impact in 199 nest box plots across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East (i.e., the Western Palearctic) for four species of hole-nesters: blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tits (Parus major), collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis), and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). Meanwhile, we estimated the intensity of urbanization as the density of buildings surrounding study plots measured on orthophotographs. For the four study species, the intensity of urbanization was not correlated with laying date. Clutch size in blue and great tits does not seem affected by the intensity of urbanization, while in collared and pied flycatchers it decreased with increasing intensity of urbanization. This is the first large-scale study showing a species-specific major correlation between intensity of urbanization and the ecology of breeding. The underlying mechanisms for the relationships between life history and urbanization remain to be determined. We propose that effects of food abundance or quality, temperature, noise, pollution, or disturbance by humans may on their own or in combination affect laying date and/or clutch size.</p>},
  author       = {Vaugoyeau, Marie and Adriaensen, Frank and Artemyev, Alexandr and Bańbura, Jerzy and Barba, Emilio and Biard, Clotilde and Blondel, Jacques and Bouslama, Zihad and Bouvier, Jean-Charles and Camprodon, Jordi and Cecere, Francesco and Charmantier, Anne and Charter, Motti and Cichoń, Mariusz and Cusimano, Camillo and Czeszczewik, Dorota and Demeyrier, Virginie and Doligez, Blandine and Doutrelant, Claire and Dubiec, Anna and Eens, Marcel and Eeva, Tapio and Faivre, Bruno and Ferns, Peter N. and Forsman, Jukka T. and García-del-Rey, Eduardo and Goldshtein, Aya and Goodenough, Anne E. and Gosler, Andrew G. and Grégoire, Arnaud and Gustafsson, Lars and Harnist, Iga and Hartley, Ian R. and Heeb, Philipp and Hinsley, Shelley A. and Isenmann, Paul and Jacob, Staffan and Juškaitis, Rimvydas and Korpimäki, Erkki and Krams, Indrikis and Laaksonen, Toni and Lambrechts, Marcel M. and Leclercq, Bernard and Lehikoinen, Esa and Loukola, Olli and Lundberg, Arne and Mainwaring, Mark C. and Mänd, Raivo and Massa, Bruno and Mazgajski, Tomasz D. and Merino, Santiago and Mitrus, Cezary and Mönkkönen, Mikko and Morin, Xavier and Nager, Ruedi G. and Nilsson, Jan Åke and Nilsson, Sven G. and Norte, Ana C. and Orell, Markku and Perret, Philippe and Perrins, Christopher M. and Pimentel, Carla S. and Pinxten, Rianne and Richner, Heinz and Robles, Hugo and Rytkönen, Seppo and Senar, Juan Carlos and Seppänen, Janne T. and Pascoal da Silva, Luis and Slagsvold, Tore and Solonen, Tapio and Sorace, Alberto and Stenning, Martyn J. and Tryjanowski, Piotr and von Numers, Mikael and Walankiewicz, Wieslaw and Møller, Anders Pape},
  issn         = {2045-7758},
  keyword      = {Breeding phenology,orthophotograph,passerine birds,population dynamics,urban heat island effect},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {16},
  pages        = {5907--5920},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Interspecific variation in the relationship between clutch size, laying date and intensity of urbanization in four species of hole-nesting birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2335},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2016},
}