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Competition and climate Great and Blue tit

Citation

Møller, Anders Pape; Balbontín, Javier (2020), Competition and climate Great and Blue tit, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sbcc2fr4b

Abstract

We studied the relationship between temperature and the coexistence of great tit Parus major and blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, breeding in 75 study plots across Europe and North Africa.

We expected an advance in laying date and a reduction in clutch size during warmer springs as a general response to climate warming and a delay in laying date and a reduction in clutch size during warmer winters due to density-dependent effects. As expected, as spring temperature increases laying date advances and as winter temperature increases clutch size is reduced in both species. 

Density of great tit affected the relationship between winter temperature and laying date in great and blue tit. Specifically, as density of great tit increased and temperature in winter increased both species started to reproduce later.  Density of blue tit affected the relationship between spring temperature and blue and great tit laying date. Thus, both species start to reproduce earlier with increasing spring temperature as density of blue tit increases, which was not an expected outcome, since we expected that increasing spring temperature should advance laying date, while increasing density should delay it cancelling each other out.

Climate warming and its interaction with density affects clutch size of great tits but not of blue tits. As predicted, great tit clutch size is reduced more with density of blue tits as temperature in winter increases. The relationship between spring temperature and density on clutch size of great tits depends on whether the increase is in density of great tit or blue tit. Therefore, an increase in temperature negatively affected the coexistence of blue and great tits differently in both species. Thus, blue tit clutch size was unaffected by the interaction effect of density with temperature, while great tit clutch size was affected in multiple ways by these interactions terms.