The effect of climate change on avian offspring production: A global meta-analysis

Lucyna Halupka, Debora Arlt, Jere Tolvanen, Alexandre Millon, Pierre Bize, Peter Adamík, Pascal Albert, Wayne J. Arendt, Alexander V. Artemyev, Vittorio Baglione, Jerzy Bańbura, Mirosława Bańbura, Emilio Barba, Robert T. Barrett, Peter H. Becker, Eugen Belskii, Mark Bolton, E. Keith Bowers, Joël Bried, Lyanne BrouwerMonika Bukacińska, Dariusz Bukaciński, Lesley Bulluck, Kate F. Carstens, Inês Catry, Motti Charter, Anna Chernomorets, Rita Covas, Monika Czuchra, Donald C. Dearborn, Florentino de Lope, Adrián S. Di Giacomo, Valery C. Dombrovski, Hugh Drummond, Michael J. Dunn, Tapio Eeva, Louise M. Emmerson, Yngve Espmark, Juan A. Fargallo, Sergey I. Gashkov, Elena Yu Golubova, Michael Griesser, Michael P. Harris, Jeffrey P. Hoover, Zuzanna Jagiełło, Patrik Karell, Janusz Kloskowski, Walter D. Koenig, Heikki Kolunen, Małgorzata Korczak-Abshire, Erkki Korpimäki, Indrikis Krams, Miloš Krist, Sonja C. Krüger, Boris D. Kuranov, Xavier Lambin, Michael P. Lombardo, Andrey Lyakhov, Alfonso Marzal, Anders P. Møller, Verónica C. Neves, Jan Tøttrup Nielsen, Alexander Numerov, Beata Orłowska, Daniel Oro, Markus Öst, Richard A. Phillips, Hannu Pietiäinen, Vicente Polo, Jiří Porkert, Jaime Potti, Hannu Pöysä, Thierry Printemps, Jouke Prop, Petra Quillfeldt, Jaime A. Ramos, Pierre Alain Ravussin, Robert N. Rosenfield, Alexandre Roulin, Dustin R. Rubenstein, Irina E. Samusenko, Denis A. Saunders, Michael Schaub, Juan C. Senar, Fabrizio Sergio, Tapio Solonen, Diana V. Solovyeva, Janusz Stępniewski, Paul M. Thompson, Marcin Tobolka, János Török, Martijn van de Pol, Louis Vernooij, Marcel E. Visser, David F. Westneat, Nathaniel T. Wheelwright, Jarosław Wiącek, Karen L. Wiebe, Andrew G. Wood, Andrzej Wuczyński, Dariusz Wysocki, Markéta Zárybnická, Antoni Margalida, Konrad Halupka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Climate change affects timing of reproduction in many bird species, but few studies have investigated its influence on annual reproductive output. Here, we assess changes in the annual production of young by female breeders in 201 populations of 104 bird species (N = 745,962 clutches) covering all continents between 1970 and 2019. Overall, average offspring production has declined in recent decades, but considerable differences were found among species and populations. A total of 56.7% of populations showed a declining trend in offspring production (significant in 17.4%), whereas 43.3% exhibited an increase (significant in 10.4%). The results show that climatic changes affect offspring production through compounded effects on ecological and life history traits of species. Migratory and larger-bodied species experienced reduced offspring production with increasing temperatures during the chick-rearing period, whereas smaller-bodied, sedentary species tended to produce more offspring. Likewise, multi-brooded species showed increased breeding success with increasing temperatures, whereas rising temperatures were unrelated to reproductive success in single-brooded species. Our study suggests that rapid declines in size of bird populations reported by many studies from different parts of the world are driven only to a small degree by changes in the production of young.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2208389120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 9 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We are grateful to our collaborators who worked with us and collected field data. The list of principal collaborators and institutions is published in SI Appendix, Table S6. We thank Heather Renner for the information about the data collected by Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. We sincerely appreciate valuable comments and suggestions made by two reviewers, which helped us in improving the manuscript. This meta-analysis was financed by the grant of the Polish National Science Centre (Narodowe Centrum Nauki) (no. 2017/27/B/NZ8/00465) awarded to Lucyna Hałupka.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).


  • birds
  • climate change
  • meta-analysis
  • offspring production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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