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High individual repeatability and population differentiation in stable isotope ratios in winter-grown collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis feathers

journal contribution
posted on 01.03.2009, 00:00 authored by M Hjernquist, T Veen, L Font, Marcel KlaassenMarcel Klaassen
For migrants, we often lack complete information of their spatial distribution year round. Here, we used stable carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen isotope ratios extracted from feathers grown at the wintering sites of the long-distance migratory collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis, to study how individuals from different breeding populations are distributed at the wintering sites. A sub-sample of birds was also sampled in two consecutive years to test for the repeatability of isotope ratios. Birds from the same breeding populations had more similar isotope ratios compared to birds from other nearby populations (10–100 km apart). Furthermore, isotope repeatability within individuals was high, implying that the observed pattern of isotope variation is consistent between years. We put forward two hypotheses for these patterns; 1) strong wintering site philopatry and migratory connectivity, suggesting that migratory connectivity may potentially be found on a much smaller spatial scale than previously considered, and 2) consistent interpopulation differentiation of feeding ecology at their wintering site.

History

Journal

Journal of avian biology

Volume

40

Issue

2

Pagination

102 - 107

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Munksgaard

Location

Copenhagen, Denmark

ISSN

0908-8857

eISSN

1600-048X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, The Authors