, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 158–163

Does climate at different scales influence the phenology and phenotype of the River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis?


  • Pavel Kaňuščák
    • Zavretý kút 42/16
  • Martin Hromada
    • Department of ZoologyUniversity of South Bohemia
    • Department of Avian Biology and EcologyAdam Mickiewicz University
    • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Tim Sparks
    • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Global Change Ecology

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-004-1646-8

Cite this article as:
Kaňuščák, P., Hromada, M., Tryjanowski, P. et al. Oecologia (2004) 141: 158. doi:10.1007/s00442-004-1646-8


Weather and climatic conditions may impact on the phenology and morphology of birds, and thereby affect their survival rate and population dynamics. We examined the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), precipitation in the Sahel zone, temperatures in the wintering grounds, on the migration route, and in the breeding area in relation to arrival dates and six morphological measures (wing, tarsus, bill, and tail lengths, body mass, body condition) in a Slovak population of the River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis. Arrival dates did not change significantly over the study period, but were significantly positively correlated with NAO, although not with temperatures in wintering areas, migration route or breeding area, nor with Sahel precipitation. Four of the six morphological traits changed during the study period and part of the change in condition index can be attributed to climatic variables. We suggest changes in birds’ phenotype vary with food availability, which fluctuate according to climate events.


Body conditionClimate effectsMigrationMorphologyNAO

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© Springer-Verlag 2004