Temperatures in Excess of Critical Thresholds Threaten Nestling Growth and Survival in A Rapidly-Warming Arid Savanna: A Study of Common Fiscals

Cunningham, Susan J.; Martin, Rowan O.; Hojem, Carryn L.; Hockey, Philip A. R.
September 2013
PLoS ONE;Sep2013, Vol. 8 Issue 9, p1
Academic Journal
Frequency, duration, and intensity of hot-weather events are all predicted to increase with climate warming. Despite this, mechanisms by which temperature increases affect individual fitness and drive population-level changes are poorly understood. We investigated the link between daily maximum air temperature (tmax) and breeding success of Kalahari common fiscals (Lanius collaris) in terms of the daily effect on nestling body-mass gain, and the cumulative effect on size and age of fledglings. High tmax reduced mass gain of younger, but not older nestlings and average nestling-period tmax did not affect fledgling size. Instead, the frequency with which tmax exceeded critical thresholds (tcrits) significantly reduced fledging body mass (tcrit = 33°C) and tarsus length (tcrit = 37°C), as well as delaying fledging (tcrit = 35°C). Nest failure risk was 4.2% per day therefore delays reduced fledging probability. Smaller size at fledging often correlates with reduced lifetime fitness and might also underlie documented adult body-size reductions in desert birds in relation to climate warming. Temperature thresholds above which organisms incur fitness costs are probably common, as physiological responses to temperature are non-linear. Understanding the shape of the relationship between temperature and fitness has implications for our ability to predict species’ responses to climate change.


Related Articles

  • Body Size, Recreational Physical Activity, and B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk Among Women in the California Teachers Study. Yani Lu; Prescott, Jennifer; Sullivan-Halley, Jane; Henderson, Katherine D.; Huiyan Ma; Chang, Ellen T.; Clarke, Christina A.; Horn-Ross, Pamela L.; Ursin, Giske; Bernstein, Leslie // American Journal of Epidemiology;Nov2009, Vol. 170 Issue 10, p1231 

    Nutritional status and physical activity are known to alter immune function, which may be relevant to lymphomagenesis. The authors examined body size measurements and recreational physical activity in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the prospective California Teachers...

  • The great global engineering experiment. Yulsman, Tom // Earth;Dec95, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p6 

    Opinion. Argues that humans contribute to the destruction of the earth by burning fossil fuels and leveling forests which cause global warming and alteration of the atmosphere. Inevitability of global climate changes; Arguments of skeptics concerning global warming; Shifts in climate.

  • The Deep-Ocean Heat Uptake in Transient Climate Change. Huang, Boyin; Stone, Peter H.; Sokolov, Andrei P.; Kamenkovich, Igor V. // Journal of Climate;May2003, Vol. 16 Issue 9, p1352 

    The deep-ocean heat uptake (DOHU) in transient climate changes is studied using an ocean general circulation model (OGCM) and its adjoint. The model configuration consists of idealized Pacific and Atlantic basins. The model is forced with the anomalies of surface heat and freshwater fluxes from...

  • Hydrology: Arctic wetting. Wake, Bronwyn // Nature Climate Change;Jun2014, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p420 

    The article discusses the impact of global warming to an increase of atmospheric moisture due to the evaporation associated with climate change and poleward moisture transport in precipitation.

  • Another hot year keeps climate debate on the boil. Pearce, Fred // New Scientist;11/16/91, Vol. 132 Issue 1795, p13 

    Reports that global temperature data compiled by meteorologists at the University of East Anglia in England as of November 1991 indicates that 1991 is set to be the second warmest year on record. Pronounced warming shown by the Earth since the start of the 1980s; Factors that are expected to...

  • Atmospheric science: Land-sea contrast. Wake, Bronwyn // Nature Climate Change;May2014, Vol. 4 Issue 5, p326 

    The article reports on the study by Yongli He and colleagues which examines the influence of temperature differences between the land and the sea on interdecadal variability of large-scale circulation and atmospheric blocking its impact on enhanced winter warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • The Bias and Signal Attenuation Present in Conventional Pollen-Based Climate Reconstructions as Assessed by Early Climate Data from Minnesota, USA. St. Jacques, Jeannine-Marie; Cumming, Brian F.; Sauchyn, David J.; Smol, John P. // PLoS ONE;Jan2015, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1 

    The inference of past temperatures from a sedimentary pollen record depends upon the stationarity of the pollen-climate relationship. However, humans have altered vegetation independent of changes to climate, and consequently modern pollen deposition is a product of landscape disturbance and...

  • Evolution of land surface air temperature trend. Ji, Fei; Wu, Zhaohua; Huang, Jianping; Chassignet, Eric P. // Nature Climate Change;Jun2014, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p462 

    The global climate has been experiencing significant warming at an unprecedented pace in the past century. This warming is spatially and temporally non-uniform, and one needs to understand its evolution to better evaluate its potential societal and economic impact. Here, the evolution of global...

  • An Activity Based Weight Control Program. Ernes, Claudia; Velde, Beth; Moreau, Mary; Murdoch, Douglas D.; Trussell, Rebecca // Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly;Oct1990, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p314 

    Two methods of introducing obese adolescents to aerobic exercise were compared. A fast-start group began with five aerobic sessions per week and gradually reduced these to three over a period of 12 weeks. A slow-start group began with one per week and gradually increased to three. A control...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics