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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Rainfall during parental care reduces reproductive and survival components of fitness in a passerine bird

Öberg, Meit; Arlt, Debora; Pärt, Tomas; Laugen, Ane; Laugen, Ane Timenes; Eggers, Sönke; Low, Matthew

Abstract

Adverse weather conditions during parental care may have direct consequences for offspring production, but longer-term effects on juvenile and parental survival are less well known. We used long-term data on reproductive output, recruitment, and parental survival in northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) to investigate the effects of rainfall during parental care on fledging success, recruitment success (juvenile survival), and parental survival, and how these effects related to nestling age, breeding time, habitat quality, and parental nest visitation rates. While accounting for effects of temperature, fledging success was negatively related to rainfall (days>10mm) in the second half of the nestling period, with the magnitude of this effect being greater for breeding attempts early in the season. Recruitment success was, however, more sensitive to the number of rain days in the first half of the nestling period. Rainfall effects on parental survival differed between the sexes; males were more sensitive to rain during the nestling period than females. We demonstrate a probable mechanism driving the rainfall effects on reproductive output: Parental nest visitation rates decline with increasing amounts of daily rainfall, with this effect becoming stronger after consecutive rain days. Our study shows that rain during the nestling stage not only relates to fledging success but also has longer-term effects on recruitment and subsequent parental survival. Thus, if we want to understand or predict population responses to future climate change, we need to consider the potential impacts of changing rainfall patterns in addition to temperature, and how these will affect target species' vital rates.

Keywords

Feeding frequency; offspring; precipitation; provisioning; weather; wheatear

Published in

Ecology and Evolution
2015, volume: 5, number: 2, pages: 345-356

Authors' information

Öberg, Meit
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Laugen, Ane
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Laugen, Ane Timenes (Laugen, Ane Timenes)
Åbo Akademi University
Laugen, Ane Timenes (Laugen, Ane Timenes)
Novia University of Applied Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Zoology
Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1345

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/63724