Experimental evidence for a mismatch between insect emergence and waterfowl hatching under increased spring temperatures

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Experimental evidence for a mismatch between insect emergence and waterfowl hatching under increased spring temperatures. / Hansson, Lars-Anders; Ekvall, Mattias; Ekvall, Mikael; Ahlgren, Johan; Sidemo Holm, William; Dessborn, Lisa; Brönmark, Christer.

In: Ecosphere, Vol. 5, No. 9, 2014, p. 120.

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T1 - Experimental evidence for a mismatch between insect emergence and waterfowl hatching under increased spring temperatures

AU - Hansson, Lars-Anders

AU - Ekvall, Mattias

AU - Ekvall, Mikael

AU - Ahlgren, Johan

AU - Sidemo Holm, William

AU - Dessborn, Lisa

AU - Brönmark, Christer

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - By combining a large-scale experimental assessment on timing of insect emergence with long-term monitoring of waterfowl hatching date, we here show that insect emergence is mainly driven by temperature, whereas there is only a weak effect of increasing spring temperatures on inter-annual variability in observations of waterfowl chicks. Hence, a change in timing of the mass-emergence of insects from lakes and wetlands, which is the crucial food source for waterfowl chicks, will likely result in a consumer/resource mismatch in a future climate change perspective. Specifically, we experimentally show that a moderate increase in temperature of 3 degrees C above ambient, expected to occur within 25-75 years, leads to a considerably (2 weeks) earlier, and more pronounced, peak in insect emergence (Chironomus sp). Moreover, by utilizing long-term Citizen Science databases, ranging over several decades, we also show that common waterfowl species are unable to significantly adjust their reproduction to fit future temperature increase. Hence, based on our data we predict a future mismatch between insect emergence and waterfowl species basing their reproduction on temperature. This will have a profound impact on reproductive success and population dynamics of many aquatic birds, as well as on freshwater biodiversity.

AB - By combining a large-scale experimental assessment on timing of insect emergence with long-term monitoring of waterfowl hatching date, we here show that insect emergence is mainly driven by temperature, whereas there is only a weak effect of increasing spring temperatures on inter-annual variability in observations of waterfowl chicks. Hence, a change in timing of the mass-emergence of insects from lakes and wetlands, which is the crucial food source for waterfowl chicks, will likely result in a consumer/resource mismatch in a future climate change perspective. Specifically, we experimentally show that a moderate increase in temperature of 3 degrees C above ambient, expected to occur within 25-75 years, leads to a considerably (2 weeks) earlier, and more pronounced, peak in insect emergence (Chironomus sp). Moreover, by utilizing long-term Citizen Science databases, ranging over several decades, we also show that common waterfowl species are unable to significantly adjust their reproduction to fit future temperature increase. Hence, based on our data we predict a future mismatch between insect emergence and waterfowl species basing their reproduction on temperature. This will have a profound impact on reproductive success and population dynamics of many aquatic birds, as well as on freshwater biodiversity.

KW - Chironomus

KW - citizen science

KW - climate change

KW - crowd sourcing

KW - hatching

KW - insect emergence

KW - mismatch

KW - waterfowl

U2 - 10.1890/ES14-00133.1

DO - 10.1890/ES14-00133.1

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 120

JO - Ecosphere

T2 - Ecosphere

JF - Ecosphere

SN - 0046-1237

IS - 9

ER -