Organism-Environment Interactions course lecture


Dr Hahn’s lecture focuses on how organisms cope with temporally varying environments. Dispersal, plasticity within an individual and micro evolutionary change at the population level are ways to cope with environmental changes. The lecture focuses on “matching” and “mismatching” timing important seasonal changes in behavior, physiology, and morphology with changes in the environment: when and how organisms Individuals adjust their behavior, physiology and morphology to cope with this varying environment. Timing plays an important role because the timing mismatch with environment might be not well adaptive to deal with the variation of environments. For example, timing mismatch was found between the Great tit and caterpillars. This long-term research found that the fitness of Great tits was influenced by the timing mismatch. That is, the mismatch between great tits and caterpillars (key food for nestlings) decreases fitness. This example indicates how climate changes can induce mismatch and affected the relative fitness of phenotypes of organisms.

Listen to Dr. Hahn's lecture: Why Timing Maters






Related Readings


Burger, C., Belskii, E., Eeva, T., Laaksonen, T., Magi, M., Mand, R., . . . Both, C. (2012). Climate change, breeding date and nestling diet: how temperature differentially affects seasonal changes in pied flycatcher diet depending on habitat variation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81(4), 926-936. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.01968.x

Gienapp, P., Lof, M., Reed, T. E., McNamara, J., Verhulst, S., & Visser, M. E. (2013). Predicting demographically sustainable rates of adaptation: can great tit breeding time keep pace with climate change? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 368(1610). doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0289

Lof, M. E., Reed, T. E., McNamara, J. M., & Visser, M. E. (2012). Timing in a fluctuating environment: environmental variability and asymmetric fitness curves can lead to adaptively mismatched avian reproduction. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 279(1741), 3161-3169. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0431

Reed, T. E., Jenouvrier, S., & Visser, M. E. (2013). Phenological mismatch strongly affects individual fitness but not population demography in a woodland passerine. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82(1), 131-144. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02020.x

te Marvelde, L., Schaper, S. V., & Visser, M. E. (2012). A Single Long Day Triggers Follicle Growth in Captive Female Great Tits (Parus major) in Winter but Does Not Affect Laying Dates in the Wild in Spring. Plos One, 7(4). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035617

Visser, M. E., te Marvelde, L., & Lof, M. E. (2012). Adaptive phenological mismatches of birds and their food in a warming world. Journal of Ornithology, 153, S75-S84. doi: 10.1007/s10336-011-0770-6