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Can threatened species adapt in restored habitat? No expected evolutionary response in lay date for the New Zealand hihi

de Villemereuil, P; Rutschmann, A; Ewen, JG; Santure, AW; Brekke, P; (2019) Can threatened species adapt in restored habitat? No expected evolutionary response in lay date for the New Zealand hihi. Evolutionary Applications , 12 (3) pp. 482-497. 10.1111/eva.12727. Green open access

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Abstract

Many bird species have been observed shifting their laying date to earlier in the year in response to climate change. However, the vast majority of these studies were performed on non‐threatened species, less impacted by reduced genetic diversity (which is expected to limit evolutionary response) as a consequence of genetic bottlenecks, drift and population isolation. Here, we study the relationship between lay date and fitness, as well as its genetic basis, to understand the evolutionary constraints on phenology faced by threatened species using a recently reintroduced population of the endangered New Zealand passerine, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta). A large discrepancy between the optimal laying date and the mode of laying date creates a strong selection differential of −11.24. The impact of this discrepancy on fitness is principally mediated through survival of offspring from hatchling to fledgling. This discrepancy does not seem to arise from a difference in female quality or a trade‐off with lifetime breeding success. We find that start of breeding season depends on female age and average temperature prior to the breeding season. Laying date is not found to be significantly heritable. Overall, our research suggests that this discrepancy is a burden on hihi fitness, which will not be resolved through evolution or phenotypic plasticity. More generally, these results show that threatened species introduced to restored habitats might lack adaptive potential and plasticity to adjust their phenology to their new environment. This constraint is also likely to limit their ability to face future challenges, including climate change.

Type: Article
Title: Can threatened species adapt in restored habitat? No expected evolutionary response in lay date for the New Zealand hihi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/eva.12727
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12727
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: conservation biology, laying date, Notiomystis cincta, phenology, quantitative genetics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059561
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