Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of procbThe Royal Society PublishingProceedings BAboutBrowse by SubjectAlertsFree Trial
Proc Biol Sci. 2004 August 22; 271(1549): 1657–1662.
PMCID: PMC1691776

Large-scale geographical variation confirms that climate change causes birds to lay earlier.


Advances in the phenology of organisms are often attributed to climate change, but alternatively, may reflect a publication bias towards advances and may be caused by environmental factors unrelated to climate change. Both factors are investigated using the breeding dates of 25 long-term studied populations of Ficedula flycatchers across Europe. Trends in spring temperature varied markedly between study sites, and across populations the advancement of laying date was stronger in areas where the spring temperatures increased more, giving support to the theory that climate change causally affects breeding date advancement.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (163K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Both C, Visser ME. Adjustment to climate change is constrained by arrival date in a long-distance migrant bird. Nature. 2001 May 17;411(6835):296–298. [PubMed]
  • Dunn P0, Winkler DW. Climate change has affected the breeding date of tree swallows throughout North America. Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Dec 22;266(1437):2487–2490. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Merilä J, Kruuk LE, Sheldon BC. Cryptic evolution in a wild bird population. Nature. 2001 Jul 5;412(6842):76–79. [PubMed]
  • Parmesan Camille, Yohe Gary. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature. 2003 Jan 2;421(6918):37–42. [PubMed]
  • Sheldon BC, Kruuk LEB, Merilä J. Natural selection and inheritance of breeding time and clutch size in the collared flycatcher. Evolution. 2003 Feb;57(2):406–420. [PubMed]
  • Stenseth Nils Chr, Mysterud Atle, Ottersen Geir, Hurrell James W, Chan Kung-Sik, Lima Mauricio. Ecological effects of climate fluctuations. Science. 2002 Aug 23;297(5585):1292–1296. [PubMed]
  • Visser ME, Noordwijk A J van, Tinbergen JM, Lessells CM. Warmer springs lead to mistimed reproduction in great tits (Parus major) Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Oct 7;265(1408):1867–1870. [PMC free article]
  • Visser Marcel E, Adriaensen Frank, Van Balen Johan H, Blondel Jacques, Dhondt André A, Van Dongen Stefan, Du Feu Chris, Ivankina Elena V, Kerimov Anvar B, De Laet Jenny, et al. Variable responses to large-scale climate change in European Parus populations. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Feb 22;270(1513):367–372. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Walther Gian-Reto, Post Eric, Convey Peter, Menzel Annette, Parmesan Camille, Beebee Trevor J C, Fromentin Jean-Marc, Hoegh-Guldberg Ove, Bairlein Franz. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature. 2002 Mar 28;416(6879):389–395. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society