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Temperature and rainfall anomalies in Africa predict timing of spring migration in trans-Saharan migratory birds

Saino, Nicola; Rubolini, Diego; Jonzén, Niclas LU ; Ergon, Torbjorn; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Stenseth, Nils Chr. and Spina, Fernando (2007) In Climate Research 35(1-2). p.123-134
Abstract
The long-term advance in the timing of bird spring migration in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with global climate change. The extent to which changes in bird phenology reflect responses to weather conditions in the wintering or breeding areas, or during migration, however, remains to be elucidated. We analyse the relationships between the timing of spring migration of 9 species of trans-Saharan migratory birds across the, Mediterranean, and thermal and precipitation anomalies in the main wintering areas south of the Sahara Desert and in North African stopover areas. Median migration dates were collected on the island of Capri (southern Italy) by standardized mist-netting during 1981 to 2004. High temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa... (More)
The long-term advance in the timing of bird spring migration in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with global climate change. The extent to which changes in bird phenology reflect responses to weather conditions in the wintering or breeding areas, or during migration, however, remains to be elucidated. We analyse the relationships between the timing of spring migration of 9 species of trans-Saharan migratory birds across the, Mediterranean, and thermal and precipitation anomalies in the main wintering areas south of the Sahara Desert and in North African stopover areas. Median migration dates were collected on the island of Capri (southern Italy) by standardized mist-netting during 1981 to 2004. High temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa (Sahel and Gulf of Guinea) prior to northward migration (February and March) were associated with advanced migration. Moreover, birds migrated earlier when winter rainfall in North Africa was more abundant. The relationships between relevant meteorological variables and timing of migration were remarkably consistent among species, suggesting a coherent response to the same extrinsic stimuli. All these results were obtained while statistically controlling for the long-term trend towards the earlier timing of spring migration across the Mediterranean that has been documented in previous analyses of the same dataset, a trend that was confirmed by the present analyses. In conclusion, our results suggest that thermal conditions in the wintering quarters, as well as rainfall in North African stopover areas, can influence interannual variation in migration phenology of trans-Saharan migratory birds, although the ecological mechanisms that causally link meteorological conditions to the timing of migration remain a matter of speculation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Mediterranean, arrival date, long-distance migration, Sahel, weather
in
Climate Research
volume
35
issue
1-2
pages
123 - 134
publisher
Inter-Research
external identifiers
  • wos:000252630400010
  • scopus:44249124576
ISSN
1616-1572
DOI
10.3354/cr00719
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cbf6d612-df6e-462f-a42b-dd3b8efd7e5e (old id 1407632)
date added to LUP
2009-05-29 14:22:10
date last changed
2017-07-23 03:34:49
@article{cbf6d612-df6e-462f-a42b-dd3b8efd7e5e,
  abstract     = {The long-term advance in the timing of bird spring migration in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with global climate change. The extent to which changes in bird phenology reflect responses to weather conditions in the wintering or breeding areas, or during migration, however, remains to be elucidated. We analyse the relationships between the timing of spring migration of 9 species of trans-Saharan migratory birds across the, Mediterranean, and thermal and precipitation anomalies in the main wintering areas south of the Sahara Desert and in North African stopover areas. Median migration dates were collected on the island of Capri (southern Italy) by standardized mist-netting during 1981 to 2004. High temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa (Sahel and Gulf of Guinea) prior to northward migration (February and March) were associated with advanced migration. Moreover, birds migrated earlier when winter rainfall in North Africa was more abundant. The relationships between relevant meteorological variables and timing of migration were remarkably consistent among species, suggesting a coherent response to the same extrinsic stimuli. All these results were obtained while statistically controlling for the long-term trend towards the earlier timing of spring migration across the Mediterranean that has been documented in previous analyses of the same dataset, a trend that was confirmed by the present analyses. In conclusion, our results suggest that thermal conditions in the wintering quarters, as well as rainfall in North African stopover areas, can influence interannual variation in migration phenology of trans-Saharan migratory birds, although the ecological mechanisms that causally link meteorological conditions to the timing of migration remain a matter of speculation.},
  author       = {Saino, Nicola and Rubolini, Diego and Jonzén, Niclas and Ergon, Torbjorn and Montemaggiori, Alessandro and Stenseth, Nils Chr. and Spina, Fernando},
  issn         = {1616-1572},
  keyword      = {Mediterranean,arrival date,long-distance migration,Sahel,weather},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {123--134},
  publisher    = {Inter-Research},
  series       = {Climate Research},
  title        = {Temperature and rainfall anomalies in Africa predict timing of spring migration in trans-Saharan migratory birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/cr00719},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2007},
}