Inbreeding and experience affect response to climate change by endangered woodpeckers

  • Schiegg K
  • Pasinelli G
  • Walters J
 et al. 
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Abstract

In recent decades, female red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) have laid eggs increasingly earlier in response to a changing climate, as has been observed in several other bird species breeding at north temperate latitudes. Within each year, females that lay earlier are more productive than females that lay later. However, inexperienced females, experienced females who change mates and inbred birds have not adjusted to the changing climate by laying earlier, and have suffered reproductive costs as a result. Failure to respond to global climate change may be a further example of the reduced ability of inbred animals to respond to environmental challenges.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Climate change
  • Inbreeding
  • Laying date
  • Picoides borealis
  • Reproductive success

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