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Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to climate change in a wild bird population

Date

2008

Authors

Charmantier, Anne
McCleery, Robin H.
Cole, Lionel R.
Perrins, Chris
Kruuk, Loeske
Sheldon, B.C.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Abstract

Rapid climate change has been implicated as a cause of evolution in poorly adapted populations. However, phenotypic plasticity provides the potential for organisms to respond rapidly and effectively to environmental change. Using a 47-year population study of the great tit (Parus major) in the United Kingdom, we show that individual adjustment of behavior in response to the environment has enabled the population to track a rapidly changing environment very closely. Individuals were markedly invariant in their response to environmental variation, suggesting that the current response may be fixed in this population. Phenotypic plasticity can thus play a central role in tracking environmental change; understanding the limits of plasticity is an important goal for future research.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: adaptation; animal; article; climate; feeding behavior; female; male; phenotype; physiology; reproduction; songbird; wild animal; animal behavior; bird; breeding; climate change; environmental change; nonhuman; parus major; priority journal; temperature s

Citation

Source

Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1126/science.1157174

Restricted until

2037-12-31