Document Detail

Avian migrants adjust migration in response to environmental conditions en route.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18700199     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The onset of migration in birds is assumed to be primarily under endogenous control in long-distance migrants. Recently, climate changes appear to have been driving a rapid change in breeding area arrival. However, little is known about the climatic factors affecting migratory birds during the migration cycle, or whether recently reported phenological changes are caused by plastic behavioural responses or evolutionary change. Here, we investigate how environmental conditions in the wintering areas as well as en route towards breeding areas affect timing of migration. Using data from 1984 to 2004 covering the entire migration period every year from observatories located in the Middle East and northern Europe, we show that passage of the Sahara Desert is delayed and correlated with improved conditions in the wintering areas. By contrast, migrants travel more rapidly through Europe, and adjust their breeding area arrival time in response to improved environmental conditions en route. Previous studies have reported opposing results from a different migration route through the Mediterranean region (Italy). We argue that the simplest explanation for different phenological patterns at different latitudes and between migratory routes appears to be phenotypic responses to spatial variability in conditions en route.
Anders P Tøttrup; Kasper Thorup; Kalle Rainio; Reuven Yosef; Esa Lehikoinen; Carsten Rahbek
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology letters     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1744-9561     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2008 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-07     Completed Date:  2009-02-03     Revised Date:  2013-06-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101247722     Medline TA:  Biol Lett     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  685-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Center for Macroecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological
Animal Migration*
Greenhouse Effect*
Mediterranean Region
Species Specificity
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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