This page will have resources for lecturers who have contributed to discussions of phenotypic plasticity.


Dietmar Kueltz- Molecular Determinants of Physiological Phenotypes: What the Entail, How to Dissect Them, and What They tell Us

Brian Trainor- Sex Differences and Coping with Social Stress

John Wingfield- Life History Stages as Adaptation for Coping with Change

Gabrielle Nevitt- Sensory Adaptations for Life on the Move

Marilyn Ramenofsky- Is Migration an Adaptation for Coping with Environmental Change

Tom Hahn- Match-Mismatch: Why Timing Matters

Fun Reads:

Climate change, breeding date, and nestling diet: How temperature differentially affects seasonal changes in pied flycatcher diet depending upon habitat variation. Authors: Claudia Burger1,*, Eugen Belskii2, Tapio Eeva3, Toni Laaksonen4, Marko Mägi5,Raivo Mänd5, Anna Qvarnström6,Tore Slagsvold7, Thor Veen8,9, Marcel E. Visser10, Karen L. Wiebe11, Chris Wiley12, Jonathan Wright13, Christiaan Both1

Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 81, Issue 4, pages 926–936, July 2012

The pied flycatcher has been a poster child for studies looking at how phenological mismatch caused by climate change may negatively affect reproductive success. Work from the Netherlands suggests that while clutch initiation for the pied flycatcher has advanced earlier in spring as temperatures increased, this advancement has not kept pace with the emergence of caterpillars that play a crucial role in the diet of nestlings. It is believed that the pied flycatcher population is decreasing at sites with high mismatch. However, this recent paper suggests that pied flycatcher's vulnerability to these effects of climate change is dependent upon habitat type. While caterpillars are the primary component of nestling diet for pied flycatchers living in oak habitat, they do not play as central a role in the diet of nestlings being raised in non-oak (e.g. pine/ mixed forest) habitat. Furthermore, while there is a narrow peak of caterpillar abundance in oak habitat, in the non- oak habitat the peak abundance is lower, but also more evenly distributed across the reproductive season. While there is considerable pressure for pied flycatchers breeding in oak forest to advance laying date, this pressure does not exist in pine/ mixed habitat. This suggests that diet plasticity in nestlings as well as plasticity in habitat use may allow populations to persist, even if pied flycatchers cannot adjust clutch initiation to keep pace with caterpillar abundance in the oak forest habitat.