Flyway-scale analysis reveals that the timing of migration in wading birds is becoming later

Mondain-Monval, Thomas O. and Amos, Matt and Chapman, Jamie-Leigh and MacColl, Andrew and Sharp, Stuart P. (2021) Flyway-scale analysis reveals that the timing of migration in wading birds is becoming later. Ecology and Evolution, 11 (20). pp. 14135-14145. ISSN 2045-7758

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1. Understanding the implications of climate change for migratory animals is paramount for establishing how best to conserve them. A large body of evidence suggests that birds are migrating earlier in response to rising temperatures, but many studies focus on single populations of model species. 2. Migratory patterns at large spatial scales may differ from those occurring in single populations, for example because of individuals dispersing outside of study areas. Furthermore, understanding phenological trends across species is vital because we need a holistic understanding of how climate change affects wildlife, especially as rates of temperature change vary globally. 3. The life cycles of migratory wading birds cover vast latitudinal gradients, making them particularly susceptible to climate change and, therefore, ideal model organisms for understanding its effects. Here, we implement a novel application of changepoint detection analysis to investigate changes in the timing of migration in waders at a flyway scale using a thirteen-year citizen science dataset (eBird) and determine the influence of changes in weather conditions on large scale migratory patterns. 4. In contrast to most previous research, our results suggest that migration is getting later in both spring and autumn. We show that rates of change were faster in spring than autumn in both the Afro-Palearctic and Nearctic flyways, but that weather conditions in autumn, not in spring, predicted temporal changes in the corresponding season. Birds migrated earlier in autumn when temperatures increased rapidly, and later with increasing headwinds. 5. One possible explanation for our results is that migration is becoming later due to northward range shifts, which mean that a higher proportion of birds travel greater distances and therefore take longer to reach their destinations. Our findings underline the importance of considering spatial scale when investigating changes in the phenology of migratory bird species.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecology and Evolution
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thomas O. Mondain-Monval, Matt Amos, Jamie-Leigh Chapman, Andrew MacColl, Stuart P. Sharp (2021), Flyway-scale analysis reveals that the timing of migration in wading birds is becoming later. Journal of Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.8130 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? birdsclimate changecontinental scaleebirdmigrationphenologywadersweatherecology, evolution, behavior and systematicsecologynature and landscape conservation ??
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Deposited On:
04 Oct 2021 13:45
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 21:58