map transect cropped moreThe transect

blue tit left

We are interested in the relationship between climate (spring temperature), and the timing (phenology) of key events that comprise a woodland food web, from tree to caterpillar to blue tit.

Since 2014 we have been conducting fieldwork on a 200 km transect running northward from Edinburgh and which is composed of 44 sites of varying habitat. This spatial replication allows us to examine whether insights obtained in oak woodlands generalise to other habitats.

The major questions we are trying to address are:

1) How does the timing of egg-laying in relation and the availability of caterpillars impact on the ability of blue tits to fledge their young?

2) Does mismatch between the peak availability fo caterpillars and the peak demands of blue tit nestlings vary depending on the dominant tree species?

3) By how much does the blue tit optimum lay date change with spring temperature?


Photos by Gergana Daskalova