The effects of phenological mismatches on demography

Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, Toke Thomas Høye, David W. Inouye, Eric Post

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

300 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate change is altering the phenology of species across the world, but what are the consequences of these phenological changes for the demography and population dynamics of species? Time-sensitive relationships, such as migration, breeding and predation, may be disrupted or altered, which may in turn alter the rates of reproduction and survival, leading some populations to decline and others to increase in abundance. However, finding evidence for disrupted relationships, or lack thereof, and their demographic effects, is difficult because the necessary detailed observational data are rare. Moreover, we do not know how sensitive species will generally be to phenological mismatches when they occur. Existing long-term studies provide preliminary data for analysing the phenology and demography of species in several locations. In many instances, though, observational protocols may need to be optimized to characterize timing-based multi-trophic interactions. As a basis for future research, we outline some of the key questions and approaches to improving our understanding of the relationships among phenology, demography and climate in a multi-trophic context. There are many challenges associated with this line of research, not the least of which is the need for detailed, long-term data on many organisms in a single system. However, we identify key questions that can be addressed with data that already exist and propose approaches that could guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3177-3186
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume365
Issue number1555
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 12 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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