Overwintering habitat links to summer reproductive success: intercontinental carry-over effects in a declining migratory bird revealed using stable isotope analysis

Goodenough, Anne E ORCID: 0000-0002-7662-6670, Wood, Matthew J ORCID: 0000-0003-0920-8396, Coker, David and Rogers, Sally L (2017) Overwintering habitat links to summer reproductive success: intercontinental carry-over effects in a declining migratory bird revealed using stable isotope analysis. Bird Study, 64 (4). pp. 433-444. ISSN 1944-6705

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Abstract

Capsule: Breeding success in female Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca is related to isotopic signature of feathers grown in Africa, suggesting wintering habitat links to breeding performance 5000km away. Aims: Better understanding of interseasonal carry-over effects is a research priority, especially for declining migrants. We use stable isotope analysis to relate Pied Flycatcher winter habitat to summer reproductive success. Methods: Flycatchers were captured in three UK woodlands in 2013-2015. An Africa-grown tertial was trimmed and analysed using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry to quantify Nitrogen-15 (δ15N) and Carbon-13 (δ13C). In total, 135 samples were taken from 80 individuals. Results: Wintering δ15N and δ13C differed significantly between years. δ13C correlated with lay date, such that birds with lower carbon levels (indicative of more mesic habitat) bred earlier. There was a significant correlation between wintering δ13C and productivity after allowing for year, site, and lay date; birds with low δ13C were more successful. This suggests δ13C links productivity directly as well as indirectly through phenological effects. δ15N did not relate to phenology or productivity. Conclusion: This is the first evidence of carry-over effects between geographical regions for a European passerine. Conservation measures should focus on all aspects of seasonal cycles, not just breeding grounds.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breeding success; Carbon-13; Ficedula hypoleuca; Migratory ecology; Nitrogen-15; Pied Flycatcher; Stable isotope analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL671-699 Birds
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Environmental Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 17:58
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 20:11
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5228

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