Climate change not effecting Great tit populations - More hatchlings die - More juveniles survive08/05/2013 07:41:28 Wild populations of great tits and earlier springs - Courtesy of The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
May 2013. What happens when climate change makes for a food timing problem for great tit populations? Norwegian, French, American and Dutch researchers have explained (In Science magazine) that while more hatchlings may die, greater juvenile survival and immigration have surprisingly kept populations stable.
Caterpillars hatching earlier
That might make you think that great tit populations would also go into decline, but nearly four decades of data on great tit populations shows that this loss of great tit young in the spring has been offset by increased juvenile survival as well as increased immigration during winter. Thus, the mismatch in timing has not caused a decline in pre-breeding population size.
The researchers observe that their findings "imply that natural populations may be able to tolerate considerable maladaptation driven by shifting climatic conditions without undergoing immediate declines."
Bernt-Erik Sæther, a biologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and director of the university's Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, was a co-author on a paper published Friday, 26 April in Science magazine that explores this problem.