Climate change can severely impact species that depend on ephemeral resources because of induced phenological asynchrony: a mismatch between consumer and resource seasonal timing. In the winter moth, climate change induced asynchrony increased selection on the temperature sensitivity of egg development rate. However, we know little about the fine-scale fitness consequences of asynchrony at the individual level and how this affects population dynamics in the winter moth. We determined the fitness curve of timing of egg hatching relative to timing of oak budburst in a feeding experiment and combined this with our long-term data series on relative abundances of four Dutch populations to model the effect of asynchrony on population dynamics. Already one day of mismatch greatly increased mortality rates of freshly hatched caterpillars. This was reflected in our population models in which we found a significant effect of timing mismatch on population growth rates. These severe fitness consequences of asynchrony have driven the rapid genetic adaptation to climate change in the winter moth in the past 20 years. We are now using whole genome sequencing of historic winter moth samples to gain insight into how the selection pressure strength and population dynamics we investigated here have impacted the speed of adaptation in the wild.
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 17 jul. 2022|