Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6180

Date

2018

Date of Award

7-12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Biology

Committee Chair

Emerson Keith Bowers

Committee Member

David Freeman

Committee Member

Michael Ferkin

Abstract

It is now widely accepted that recent climatic changes have had a causal effect on changing avian life histories. However, evidence for this is largely observational, whereas cause-and-effect inference requires an experimental approach. Here, we assess effects of experimentally increased temperature during incubation on posthatching development in three species of wild songbird, the Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis), Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), and prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea). Increased incubation temperatures (i) reduced the duration of the incubation and nestling periods, (ii) reduced posthatching begging for food by nestlings, and (iii) reduced posthatching survival in Carolina chickadees and prothonotary warblers, while nestling Carolina wrens had similar survival but reduced pre-fledging mass. Our results suggest that increasing environmental temperature affect fitness in wild populations in generally negative but species-specific ways, and induce life-history changes including the duration of development and the classic trade-off parents face between the size and number of offspring.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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