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Philippa Gullett, Ben J. Hatchwell, Robert A. Robinson and Karl L. Evans Phenological indices of avian reproduction: cryptic shifts and prediction across large spatial and temporal scales Ecology and Evolution 3

Version of Record online: 21 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.558

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We use data from a long-term study of long-tailed tits to show that early and late spring temperatures respectively determine the timing of the onset and termination of the breeding season. Climate change has reduced breeding season length by one third in the last 17 years due to faster warming rates in late spring than in early spring. These phenological shifts could have important demographic consequences, but are not detected by the typically-used phenological index of mean population lay date. Our locally-derived model successfully predicts observed responses to climate change observed at the national level over longer time periods.

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