Advanced

Selection and evolutionary potential of spring arrival phenology in males and females of a migratory songbird

Tarka, Maja LU ; Hansson, Bengt LU and Hasselquist, Dennis LU (2015) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(5). p.1024-1038
Abstract
The timing of annual life-history events affects survival and reproduction of all organisms. A changing environment can perturb phenological adaptations and an important question is if populations can evolve fast enough to track the environmental changes. Yet, little is known about selection and evolutionary potential of traits determining the timing of crucial annual events. Migratory species, which travel between different climatic regions, are particularly affected by global environmental changes. To increase our understanding of evolutionary potential and selection of timing traits, we investigated the quantitative genetics of arrival date at the breeding ground using a multigenerational pedigree of a natural great reed warbler... (More)
The timing of annual life-history events affects survival and reproduction of all organisms. A changing environment can perturb phenological adaptations and an important question is if populations can evolve fast enough to track the environmental changes. Yet, little is known about selection and evolutionary potential of traits determining the timing of crucial annual events. Migratory species, which travel between different climatic regions, are particularly affected by global environmental changes. To increase our understanding of evolutionary potential and selection of timing traits, we investigated the quantitative genetics of arrival date at the breeding ground using a multigenerational pedigree of a natural great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found significant heritability of 16.4% for arrival date and directional selection for earlier arrival in both sexes acting through reproductive success, but not through lifespan. Mean arrival date advanced with 6days over 20years, which is in exact accordance with our predicted evolutionary response based on the breeder's equation. However, this phenotypic change is unlikely to be caused by microevolution, because selection seems mainly to act on the nongenetic component of the trait. Furthermore, demographical changes could also not account for the advancing arrival date. Instead, a strong correlation between spring temperatures and population mean arrival date suggests that phenotypic plasticity best explains the advancement of arrival date in our study population. Our study dissects the evolutionary and environmental forces that shape timing traits and thereby increases knowledge of how populations cope with rapidly changing environments. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Acrocephalus arundinaceus, adaptation, fitness, microevolution, migration, phenology
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
28
issue
5
pages
1024 - 1038
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000355012700004
  • scopus:84929703536
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/jeb.12638
project
Breeding ecology of great reed warblers
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
df656902-ee99-4643-a7aa-f31864902f7a (old id 7410963)
date added to LUP
2015-06-29 10:16:45
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:06:42
@article{df656902-ee99-4643-a7aa-f31864902f7a,
  abstract     = {The timing of annual life-history events affects survival and reproduction of all organisms. A changing environment can perturb phenological adaptations and an important question is if populations can evolve fast enough to track the environmental changes. Yet, little is known about selection and evolutionary potential of traits determining the timing of crucial annual events. Migratory species, which travel between different climatic regions, are particularly affected by global environmental changes. To increase our understanding of evolutionary potential and selection of timing traits, we investigated the quantitative genetics of arrival date at the breeding ground using a multigenerational pedigree of a natural great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found significant heritability of 16.4% for arrival date and directional selection for earlier arrival in both sexes acting through reproductive success, but not through lifespan. Mean arrival date advanced with 6days over 20years, which is in exact accordance with our predicted evolutionary response based on the breeder's equation. However, this phenotypic change is unlikely to be caused by microevolution, because selection seems mainly to act on the nongenetic component of the trait. Furthermore, demographical changes could also not account for the advancing arrival date. Instead, a strong correlation between spring temperatures and population mean arrival date suggests that phenotypic plasticity best explains the advancement of arrival date in our study population. Our study dissects the evolutionary and environmental forces that shape timing traits and thereby increases knowledge of how populations cope with rapidly changing environments.},
  author       = {Tarka, Maja and Hansson, Bengt and Hasselquist, Dennis},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  keyword      = {Acrocephalus arundinaceus,adaptation,fitness,microevolution,migration,phenology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1024--1038},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Selection and evolutionary potential of spring arrival phenology in males and females of a migratory songbird},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12638},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2015},
}