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Journal Articles Journal of Avian Biology Year : 2017

How does an increase in minimum daily temperatures during incubation influence reproduction in the great tit Parus major?

Sandrine Meylan
  • Function : Author
Clotilde Biard

Abstract

Temperature variation affects all life stages of organisms, especially early development, and considering global warming, it is urgent to understand precisely its consequences. In egg-laying species, incubation behaviour can buffer embryo developmental temperature variation and influence offspring development. We experimentally investigated the effect of an increase in minimum daily nest temperature during incubation in the great tit Parus major, by placing a hand warming pad under the nest in the evenings. As compared to controls, the experimental treatment increased nest temperature at night by an average of 4 degrees C, and this increase carried over to the following day. We measured the consequences of this mainly nocturnal temperature increase during incubation on 1) parental behaviour (incubation and nestling feeding), 2) parental health (quantified by body condition, immune status, physiological and oxidative stress) and 3) reproductive success (nestling body condition, growth, i.e. mass gain, hatching and fledging success, and nestling immune status, physiological and oxidative stress). This study yielded three major results. First, we found that heating the nest did not change the duration of incubation as compared to controls. Second, increasing nest temperature during incubation decreased nestling feeding behaviour but did not affect parental health in terms of body condition, immune status, physiological and oxidative stress. Third, nestling mass at hatching was greater but nestling mass gain was slower in heated nests than in control nests, resulting in similar fledging mass. The present study demonstrates that increased environmental temperatures during incubation influenced nestling development in the great tit and especially hatchling mass, which might produce long-term life history consequences.
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hal-02623982 , version 1 (26-05-2020)

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Marie Vaugoyeau, Sandrine Meylan, Clotilde Biard. How does an increase in minimum daily temperatures during incubation influence reproduction in the great tit Parus major?. Journal of Avian Biology, 2017, 48 (5), pp.714-725. ⟨10.1111/jav.01208⟩. ⟨hal-02623982⟩

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