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Provenance does matter : links between winter trophic segregation and the migratory origins of European robins

Catry, Paulo; Campos, Ana R.; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Neto, Júlio M. LU ; Ramos, Jaime; Newton, Jason and Bearhop, Stuart (2016) In Oecologia 182(4). p.985-994
Abstract

Amongst migratory species, it is common to find individuals from different populations or geographical origins sharing staging or wintering areas. Given their differing life histories, ecological theory would predict that the different groups of individuals should exhibit some level of niche segregation. This has rarely been investigated because of the difficulty in assigning migrating individuals to breeding areas. Here, we start by documenting a broad geographical gradient of hydrogen isotopes (δ2H) in robin Erithacus rubecula feathers across Europe. We then use δ2H, as well as wing-tip shape, as surrogates for broad migratory origin of birds wintering in Iberia, to investigate the ecological segregation of... (More)

Amongst migratory species, it is common to find individuals from different populations or geographical origins sharing staging or wintering areas. Given their differing life histories, ecological theory would predict that the different groups of individuals should exhibit some level of niche segregation. This has rarely been investigated because of the difficulty in assigning migrating individuals to breeding areas. Here, we start by documenting a broad geographical gradient of hydrogen isotopes (δ2H) in robin Erithacus rubecula feathers across Europe. We then use δ2H, as well as wing-tip shape, as surrogates for broad migratory origin of birds wintering in Iberia, to investigate the ecological segregation of populations. Wintering robins of different sexes, ages and body sizes are known to segregate between habitats in Iberia. This has been attributed to the despotic exclusion of inferior competitors from the best patches by dominant individuals. We find no segregation between habitats in relation to δ2H in feathers, or to wing-tip shape, which suggests that no major asymmetries in competitive ability exist between migrant robins of different origins. Trophic level (inferred from nitrogen isotopes in blood) correlated both with δ2H in feathers and with wing-tip shape, showing that individuals from different geographic origins display a degree of ecological segregation in shared winter quarters. Isotopic mixing models indicate that wintering birds originating from more northerly populations consume more invertebrates. Our multi-scale study suggests that trophic-niche segregation may result from specializations (arising in the population-specific breeding areas) that are transported by the migrants into the shared wintering grounds.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ecological segregation, Erithacus rubecula, Migration, Seasonal matching, Stable isotopes
in
Oecologia
volume
182
issue
4
pages
10 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84988354878
  • wos:000386070800006
ISSN
0029-8549
DOI
10.1007/s00442-016-3725-z
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2c407feb-36b5-412a-9192-a7163e34e6ed
date added to LUP
2016-10-28 08:45:41
date last changed
2017-11-14 09:54:47
@article{2c407feb-36b5-412a-9192-a7163e34e6ed,
  abstract     = {<p>Amongst migratory species, it is common to find individuals from different populations or geographical origins sharing staging or wintering areas. Given their differing life histories, ecological theory would predict that the different groups of individuals should exhibit some level of niche segregation. This has rarely been investigated because of the difficulty in assigning migrating individuals to breeding areas. Here, we start by documenting a broad geographical gradient of hydrogen isotopes (δ<sup>2</sup>H) in robin Erithacus rubecula feathers across Europe. We then use δ<sup>2</sup>H, as well as wing-tip shape, as surrogates for broad migratory origin of birds wintering in Iberia, to investigate the ecological segregation of populations. Wintering robins of different sexes, ages and body sizes are known to segregate between habitats in Iberia. This has been attributed to the despotic exclusion of inferior competitors from the best patches by dominant individuals. We find no segregation between habitats in relation to δ<sup>2</sup>H in feathers, or to wing-tip shape, which suggests that no major asymmetries in competitive ability exist between migrant robins of different origins. Trophic level (inferred from nitrogen isotopes in blood) correlated both with δ<sup>2</sup>H in feathers and with wing-tip shape, showing that individuals from different geographic origins display a degree of ecological segregation in shared winter quarters. Isotopic mixing models indicate that wintering birds originating from more northerly populations consume more invertebrates. Our multi-scale study suggests that trophic-niche segregation may result from specializations (arising in the population-specific breeding areas) that are transported by the migrants into the shared wintering grounds.</p>},
  author       = {Catry, Paulo and Campos, Ana R. and Granadeiro, José Pedro and Neto, Júlio M. and Ramos, Jaime and Newton, Jason and Bearhop, Stuart},
  issn         = {0029-8549},
  keyword      = {Ecological segregation,Erithacus rubecula,Migration,Seasonal matching,Stable isotopes},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {985--994},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {Provenance does matter : links between winter trophic segregation and the migratory origins of European robins},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-016-3725-z},
  volume       = {182},
  year         = {2016},
}