Spring temperature, clutch initiation date and duck nest success: a test of the mismatch hypothesis
Article first published online: 27 NOV 2006
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 139–148, January 2007
How to Cite
DREVER, M. C. and CLARK, R. G. (2007), Spring temperature, clutch initiation date and duck nest success: a test of the mismatch hypothesis. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76: 139–148. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01183.x
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 27 NOV 2006
- Received 11 April 2006; accepted 21 September 2006
- breeding biology;
- climate change;
- nest fate;
- timing of breeding;
- 1Increases in average global temperature during the twentieth century have prompted calls for research on the effect of temperature variation on avian population dynamics. Particular attention has been paid to the hypothesis that increased temperatures may affect a species’ ability to shift their breeding efforts to match the phenology of their prey, and thus result in reduced reproductive success (the ‘mismatch hypothesis’).
- 2We used data from a long-term study of breeding ducks to investigate how duck nest success varied with clutch initiation date, and to test whether spring temperature affected this relationship in a manner consistent with the mismatch hypothesis. We modelled five possible functional forms of how nest success might vary with clutch initiation date and spring temperature, and used an information-theoretic approach to determine which model best described the nesting outcomes of five dabbling duck species nesting in Saskatchewan, Canada.
- 3Probability of nest success for the five species did not vary strongly with clutch initiation date, and we found evidence consistent with the mismatch hypothesis for one species, northern pintail Anas acuta, although weight of evidence was weak.
- 4Overall nest success of all five species was positively associated with spring temperature. These results suggest that increasing spring temperature alone (within the range observed in this study) may not affect nest success in a manner that would result in lower populations of breeding ducks.