The response of the Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus to climate change

Abstract

We examined long-term responses in the breeding performance of the Great Reed Warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus to climate change. The study took place in various years from 1970 to 2007. During the study period, mean temperatures in the breeding season of the species increased and precipitation decreased significantly. We found evidence for the significant advancement in both earliest and annual median first-egg-laying dates. This advancement correlated with temperature increases early in the season. The latest first-egg laying dates, however, remained unchanged. Other breeding statistics: clutch size, nest losses, and production of young per nest, did not change significantly over the study period. Precipitation did not affect any of the analysed measures. It is important to note, though, that during dry seasons, the production of young per successful nest was higher. In contrast to some woodland species, the Great Reed Warbler seems to adapt well to climate change by shifting laying dates. The reason for this is probably to optimise food resources.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Wanda Zdunek for field assistance. The paper benefited from remarks of two anonymous reviewers. The study was supported by The Polish Scientific Committee for Scientific Research (KBN).

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Correspondence to Andrzej Dyrcz.

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Communicated by F. Bairlein.

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Dyrcz, A., Halupka, L. The response of the Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus to climate change. J Ornithol 150, 39 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-008-0315-9

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Keywords

  • Acrocephalus arundinaceus
  • Great Reed Warbler
  • Climate change
  • Laying date
  • Timing of breeding