Body shrinkage due to Arctic warming reduces red knot fitness in tropical wintering range

van Gils, Jan A., Lisovski, Simeon, Lok, Tamar, Meissner, Wlodzimierz, Ożarowska, Agnieszka, de Fouw, Jimmy, Rakhimberdiev, Eldar, Soloviev, Mikhail, Piersma, Theunis and Klaassen, Marcel 2016, Body shrinkage due to Arctic warming reduces red knot fitness in tropical wintering range, Science, vol. 352, no. 6287, pp. 819-821, doi: 10.1126/science.aad6351.

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Title Body shrinkage due to Arctic warming reduces red knot fitness in tropical wintering range
Author(s) van Gils, Jan A.
Lisovski, Simeon
Lok, Tamar
Meissner, Wlodzimierz
Ożarowska, Agnieszka
de Fouw, Jimmy
Rakhimberdiev, Eldar
Soloviev, Mikhail
Piersma, Theunis
Klaassen, MarcelORCID iD for Klaassen, Marcel
Journal name Science
Volume number 352
Issue number 6287
Start page 819
End page 821
Total pages 4
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2016-05-13
ISSN 1095-9203
Keyword(s) Animal Migration
Arctic Regions
Body Size
Food Chain
Genetic Fitness
Global Warming
Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Summary Reductions in body size are increasingly being identified as a response to climate warming. Here we present evidence for a case of such body shrinkage, potentially due to malnutrition in early life. We show that an avian long-distance migrant (red knot, Calidris canutus canutus), which is experiencing globally unrivaled warming rates at its high-Arctic breeding grounds, produces smaller offspring with shorter bills during summers with early snowmelt. This has consequences half a world away at their tropical wintering grounds, where shorter-billed individuals have reduced survival rates. This is associated with these molluscivores eating fewer deeply buried bivalve prey and more shallowly buried seagrass rhizomes. We suggest that seasonal migrants can experience reduced fitness at one end of their range as a result of a changing climate at the other end.
Language eng
DOI 10.1126/science.aad6351
Field of Research 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science
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