S4-10 Friday, Jan. 6 14:00 - 14:30 The evolution of mechanisms underlying seasonal timing of avian reproduction VISSER, M.E.*; VERHAGEN, I.C.; RAMAKERS, J.; LAINE, V.N.; GIENAPP, P.; Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW); Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW); Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW); Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW); Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) email@example.com https://nioo.knaw.nl/nl/employees/marcel-visser
Species need to time their reproduction and growth such that these activities match the annual period of favourable conditions, often set by the seasonal timing of other species. Climate change has led to unequal shifts in timing among species at different trophic levels, leading to a mismatch between the time of the need for, and the availability of, resources. A key question is how fast species can adapt to climate change. I will address this question using our work on a simplified food chain of oaks – winter moths – great tits & pied flycatchers, combining field work, field experiments and experiments in captivity. In this system, we measure how natural selection on seasonal timing has changed over the course of our long term study (1955-present). We link this with work on the genetic variation in the physiological mechanisms underlying seasonal timing as this is what is needed for evolutionary adaptation. I will present some of our ongoing work on artificial selection for early and late egg-laying great tits using genomic selection. With these artificially selected birds, we study which components of the underlying mechanism can be altered by selection, and we can release these birds into the wild to study their reproductive success. This way, we aim to explore whether species can adapt fast enough to climate change.