For many species, a well-documented response to anthropogenic climate change is a shift in various aspects of its life-history, including its timing or phenology. Often, these phenological shifts are associated with changes in abiotic factors used as proxies for resource availability or other suitable conditions. Resource availability, however, can also be impacted by competition, but the impact of competition on phenology is less studied than abiotic drivers. We fit generalized additive models (GAMs) to a long-term experimental dataset on small mammals monitored in the southwestern United States and show that altered competitive landscapes can drive shifts in breeding timing and prevalence, and that, relative to a dominant competitor, other species exhibit less specific responses to environmental factors. These results suggest that plasticity of phenological responses, that is often described in the context of annual variation in abiotic factors, can occur in response to biotic context as well. Variation in phenological responses under different biotic conditions shown here further demonstrates that a more nuanced understanding of shifting biotic interactions is useful to better understand and predict biodiversity patterns in a changing world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call