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Data from: Shifts in phenological mean and synchrony interact to shape competitive outcomes


Carter, Shannon K.; Rudolf, Volker H. (2019), Data from: Shifts in phenological mean and synchrony interact to shape competitive outcomes, Dryad, Dataset,


Climate change-induced phenological shifts are ubiquitous and have the potential to disrupt natural communities by changing the timing of species interactions. Shifts in first and/or mean phenological date are well documented, but recent studies indicate that shifts in synchrony (individual variation around these metrics) can be just as common. However, we know little about how both types of phenological shifts interact to affect species interactions and natural communities. Here, we experimentally manipulated the hatching phenologies of two competing species of larval amphibians to address this conceptual gap. Specifically, we manipulated the relative mean hatching time (early, same, or late relative to competitor) and population synchrony (high, medium, or low levels of variation around the mean) in a full 3x3 factorial design to measure independent and interactive effects of phenological mean and population phenological synchrony on competitive outcomes. Our results indicate that phenological synchrony within a population strongly influences intraspecific competition by changing the density of individuals and relative strength of early vs. late arriving individuals. Individuals from high synchrony populations competed symmetrically while individuals from low synchrony populations competed asymmetrically. At the community scale, shifts in population phenological synchrony interact with shifts in phenological mean to strongly affect key demographic rates (survival, biomass export, per capita mass, and emergence timing). Furthermore, changes in mean timing of species interactions altered phenological synchrony within a population at the next life stage, and phenological synchrony at one life stage altered the mean timing of the next life stage. Thus, shifts in phenological synchrony within populations can not only alter species interactions but species interactions in turn can also drive shifts in phenology.

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National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1655626