Marcel E Visser

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Spring temperatures in temperate regions have increased over the past 20 years, and many organisms have responded to this increase by advancing the date of their growth and reproduction. Here we show that adaptation to climate change in a long-distance migrant is constrained by the timing of its migratory journey. For long-distance migrants climate change(More)
Phenological responses to climate change differ across trophic levels, which may lead to birds failing to breed at the time of maximal food abundance. Here we investigate the population consequences of such mistiming in the migratory pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca. In a comparison of nine Dutch populations, we find that populations have declined by(More)
Climate change has led to shifts in phenology in many species distributed widely across taxonomic groups. It is, however, unclear how we should interpret these shifts without some sort of a yardstick: a measure that will reflect how much a species should be shifting to match the change in its environment caused by climate change. Here, we assume that the(More)
The pivotal question in the debate on the ecological effects of climate change is whether species will be able to adapt fast enough to keep up with their changing environment. If we establish the maximal rate of adaptation, this will set an upper limit to the rate at which temperatures can increase without loss of biodiversity. The rate of adaptation will(More)
Theoretical and laboratory research suggests that phenotypic plasticity can evolve under selection. However, evidence for its evolutionary potential from the wild is lacking. We present evidence from a Dutch population of great tits (Parus major) for variation in individual plasticity in the timing of reproduction, and we show that this variation is(More)
For many leaf-feeding herbivores, synchrony in phenology with their host plant is crucial as development outside a narrow phenological time window has severe fitness consequences. In this review, we link mechanisms, adaptation, and population dynamics within a single conceptual framework, needed for a full understanding of the causes and consequences of(More)
Advances in the phenology of organisms are often attributed to climate change, but alternatively, may reflect a publication bias towards advances and may be caused by environmental factors unrelated to climate change. Both factors are investigated using the breeding dates of 25 long-term studied populations of Ficedula flycatchers across Europe. Trends in(More)
Timing of reproduction has major fitness consequences, which can only be understood when the phenology of the food for the offspring is quantified. For insectivorous birds, like great tits (Parus major), synchronisation of their offspring needs and abundance of caterpillars is the main selection pressure. We measured caterpillar biomass over a 20-year(More)
Spring temperatures in temperate regions have increased over the past 20 years and many organisms have responded to this increase by advancing the timing of their growth and reproduction. However, not all populations show an advancement of phenology. Understanding why some populations advance and others do not will give us insight into the possible(More)