Openly accessible

Flexible reaction norms to environmental variables along the migration route and the significance of stopover duration for total speed of migration in a songbird migrant

Schmaljohann, Heiko, Lisovski, Simeon and Bairlein, Franz 2017, Flexible reaction norms to environmental variables along the migration route and the significance of stopover duration for total speed of migration in a songbird migrant, Frontiers in Zoology, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.1186/s12983-017-0203-3.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title Flexible reaction norms to environmental variables along the migration route and the significance of stopover duration for total speed of migration in a songbird migrant
Author(s) Schmaljohann, Heiko
Lisovski, Simeon
Bairlein, Franz
Journal name Frontiers in Zoology
Volume number 14
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher BMC
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1742-9994
1742-9994
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Zoology
Anthropogenic changes
Bird migration
Departure probability
Environmental change
Phenotypic response
Reaction norm
Route
Speed
Travel speed
LONG-DISTANCE MIGRANTS
AUTUMN BIRD MIGRATION
CLIMATE-CHANGE
NORTHERN WHEATEARS
NUTRITIONAL MECHANISMS
WEATHER CONDITIONS
SPRING MIGRATION
BODY CONDITION
FLIGHT
MOVEMENT
Summary Background: Predicting the consequences of continuing anthropogenic changes in the environment for migratory behaviours such as phenology remains a major challenge. Predictions remain particularly difficult, because our knowledge is based on studies from single-snapshot observations at specific stopover sites along birds' migration routes. However, a general understanding on how birds react to prevailing environmental conditions, e.g. their 'phenotypic reaction norm', throughout the annual cycle and along their entire migration routes is required to fully understand how migratory birds respond to rapid environmental change. Results: Here, we provide direct evidence that northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) from a breeding population in Alaska adjusted their probability to resume migration as well as the distance covered per night, i.e. travel speed, to large-scale environmental conditions experienced along their 15,000 km migratory route on both northwards and southwards migrations. These adjustments were found to be flexible in space and time. At the beginning of autumn migration, northern wheatears showed high departure probabilities and high travel speeds at low surface air temperatures, while far away from Alaska both traits decreased with increasing air temperatures. In spring, northern wheatears increasingly exploited flow assistance with season, which is likely a behavioural adjustment to speed up migration by increasing the distance travelled per night. Furthermore, the variation in total stopover duration but not in travel speed had a significant effect on the total speed of migration, indicating the prime importance of total stopover duration in the overall phenology of bird migration. Conclusion: Northern wheatears from Alaska provide evidence that the phenotypic reaction norm to a set of environmental conditions cannot be generalized to universal and persistent behavioural reaction pattern across entire migratory pathways. This highlights the importance of full annual-cycle studies on migratory birds to better understand their response to the environment. Understanding the mechanisms behind phenotypic plasticity during migration is particularly important in the assessment of whether birds can keep pace with the potentially increasing phenological mismatches observed on the breeding grounds.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12983-017-0203-3
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30134957

Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 23 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 23 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 25 Abstract Views, 1 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 08:58:26 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.