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Monday, 6 April 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. March 2015, Week 4

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

View complete results in PubMed (results may change over time).

PubMed Results

1. Toxicon. 2015 Mar 31. pii: S0041-0101(15)00088-4. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.03.020. [Epub ahead of print]

Poisonous birds: A timely review.

Ligabue-Braun R1, Carlini CR2.
Author information:
Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43431, Sala 214, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Electronic address:
Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43431, Sala 214, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; Instituto do Cérebro (InsCer), Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga 6690, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Until very recently, toxicity was not considered a trait observed in birds, but works published in the last two decades started to shed light on this subject. Poisonous birds are rare (or little studied), and comprise Pitohui and Ifrita birds from Papua New Guinea, the European quail, the Spoor-winged goose, the Hoopees, the North American Ruffed grouse, the Bronzewings, and the Red warbler. A hundred more species are considered unpalatable or malodorous to humans and other animals. The present review intends to present the current understanding of bird toxicity, possibly pointing to an ignored research field. Whenever possible, biochemical characteristics of these poisons and their effects on humans and other animals are discussed, along with historical aspects of poison discovery and evolutionary hypothesis regarding their function.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
PMID: 25839151 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 May 7;282(1806). pii: 20150522. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0522.

Correction to 'Sex-specific, counteracting responses to inbreeding in a bird'.

Pizzari T, Løvlie H, Cornwallis CK.
PMID: 25833864 [PubMed - in process]

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3. J R Soc Interface. 2015 May 6;12(106). pii: 20150178. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0178.

Obstacle avoidance in social groups: new insights from asynchronous models.

Croft S1, Budgey R2, Pitchford JW3, Wood AJ4.
Author information:
Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK National Wildlife Management Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Sand Hutton Campus, York YO41 1LZ, UK.
National Wildlife Management Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Sand Hutton Campus, York YO41 1LZ, UK.
Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK Department of Mathematics, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.
Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK Department of Mathematics, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK


For moving animals, the successful avoidance of hazardous obstacles is an important capability. Despite this, few models of collective motion have addressed the relationship between behavioural and social features and obstacle avoidance. We develop an asynchronous individual-based model for social movement which allows social structure within groups to be included. We assess the dynamics of group navigation and resulting collision risk in the context of information transfer through the system. In agreement with previous work, we find that group size has a nonlinear effect on collision risk. We implement examples of possible network structures to explore the impact social preferences have on collision risk. We show that any social heterogeneity induces greater obstacle avoidance with further improvements corresponding to groups containing fewer influential individuals. The model provides a platform for both further theoretical investigation and practical application. In particular, we argue that the role of social structures within bird flocks may have an important role to play in assessing the risk of collisions with wind turbines, but that new methods of data analysis are needed to identify these social structures.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25833245 [PubMed - in process]

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4. Biol Lett. 2015 Apr;11(4). pii: 20141045. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.1045.

Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird.

DeLuca WV1, Woodworth BK2, Rimmer CC3, Marra PP4, Taylor PD5, McFarland KP3, Mackenzie SA6, Norris DR2.
Author information:
Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.
Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Norwich, VT 05055, USA.
Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20008, USA.
Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada B4P 2R6.
Bird Studies Canada-Long Point Bird Observatory, Port Rowan, Ontario, Canada N0E1M0.


Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to either the Greater Antilles or the northeastern coast of South America. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km (mean ± s.d.: 2540 ± 257) and requiring up to 3 days (62 h ± 10) of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25832815 [PubMed - in process]

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5. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2015 Mar;46(1):34-8.

Radiographic reference limits for cardiac width of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).

Velayati M, Mirshahi A, Razmyar J, Azizzadeh M.


Primary and secondary cardiovascular diseases are not uncommon in birds. Although radiologic standards for heart width have been developed for mammals, they are still not available for many avian species. The purpose of this study was to establish normal reference values for cardiac size in budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), one of the most popular pet bird species all over the world. After clinical and radiographic (lateral and ventrodorsal views) evaluations, 27 adult, clinically healthy budgerigars (10 females and 17 males) were included in this study. High-quality ventrodorsal and lateral radiographic projections were obtained. The cardiac and thoracic width, distance between third and fourth ribs, synsacrum width, coracoid width, and the distance between clavicle bones were measured on ventrodorsal radiographs. The ratio between cardiac width and other mentioned indices was calculated. Correlation of each anatomical index with the cardiac width was evaluated by linear regression model. Sex and weight were included in all models. Mean + SD of cardiac width was 10.8 +/- 0.6 mm, with lower and upper limits of 9.5 and 12.0 mm. The results showed a significant correlation between the cardiac width and the thoracic width (R2 = 0.28; P = 0.005). There were no significant associations between weight, sex, and the heart width. The values and ratios obtained in this study can be used as a reference of normal cardiac size of budgerigar in radiology for detection of cardiomegaly in this bird.
PMID: 25831574 [PubMed - in process]

6. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2014 Nov 18;4(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2014.11.001. eCollection 2015.

Ventral dermatitis in rowi (Apteryx rowi) due to cutaneous larval migrans.

Gartrell BD1, Argilla L2, Finlayson S3, Gedye K1, Gonzalez Argandona AK3, Graham I4, Howe L1, Hunter S1, Lenting B2, Makan T5, McInnes K5, Michael S3, Morgan KJ1, Scott I1, Sijbranda D3, van Zyl N1, Ward JM1.
Author information:
Wildbase, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand.
Wellington Zoo, 200 Daniell Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021, New Zealand.
Wildbase, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand ; Wellington Zoo, 200 Daniell Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021, New Zealand.
Department of Conservation, Franz Josef Office, State Highway 6, Franz Josef Glacier, 7856, New Zealand.
Science and Capability Group, Department of Conservation, National Office, 18-32 Manners Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand.


The rowi is a critically endangered species of kiwi. Young birds on a crèche island showed loss of feathers from the ventral abdomen and a scurfy dermatitis of the abdominal skin and vent margin. Histology of skin biopsies identified cutaneous larval migrans, which was shown by molecular sequencing to be possibly from a species of Trichostrongylus as a cause of ventral dermatitis and occasional ulcerative vent dermatitis. The predisposing factors that led to this disease are suspected to be the novel exposure of the rowi to parasites from seabirds or marine mammals due to the island crèche and the limited management of roost boxes. This is the first instance of cutaneous larval migrans to be recorded in birds. Severe and fatal complications of the investigation resulted in the death of eight birds of aspergillosis and pulmonary complications associated with the use of bark as a substrate in hospital. Another bird died of renal failure during the period of hospitalisation despite oral and intravenous fluid therapy. The initiating cause of the renal failure was not determined. These complications have the potential to undermine the working relationship between wildlife veterinarians and conservation managers. This case highlights that intensive conservation management can result in increased opportunities for novel routes of cross-species pathogen transmission.
PMCID: PMC4356737 Free Article
PMID: 25830099 [PubMed]

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7. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2015 Mar 27;117:41-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.03.017. [Epub ahead of print]

Little field evidence of direct acute and short-term effects of current pesticides on the grey partridge.

Millot F1, Berny P2, Decors A3, Bro E3.
Author information:
National Game and Wildlife Institute (ONCFS), Research Department, Saint Benoist, 78610 Auffargis, France. Electronic address:
College of Veterinary Medicine, Toxicology, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, 1, av Bourgelat, 69280 Marcy l'étoile, France.
National Game and Wildlife Institute (ONCFS), Research Department, Saint Benoist, 78610 Auffargis, France.


Direct lethal and sublethal effects of pesticides on farmland birds' populations are recurring questions and largely debated. In this context, we conducted an innovative study combining radiotelemetry, farmer surveys, residue analyses on carcasses and modelling to assess the unintentional effects of pesticides on terrestrial birds. We chose the grey partridge Perdix perdix as a case study because this typical bird of European cereal ecosystems is highly exposed to pesticides. In this paper we focused on acute and short-term impacts of pesticides on adult mortality during spring and summer in a one-substance approach (multiple exposure were not studied here) but for a large variety of active substances (a.s.) actually used in cultivated farmland of Northern France. The fate and the location of 529 partridges were monitored twice a day from early March to late August 2010 and 2011 on 12 sites (14,500ha). Their daily potential exposure to 183 a.s. was determined by overlapping birds' habitat use and daily pesticide application data. Based on this procedure, we calculated mortality rates within 10 days following a potential exposure for 157 different a.s.. 5 a.s. were associated with a "10-day mortality rate" higher than 10% but a single one (thiacloprid) is reported to be highly toxic to birds. We recorded 261 mortalities among which 94 carcasses were in suitable condition for residue analyses. We detected at least one a.s in 39.4% of carcasses. However, only 2 mortality cases were attributed to poisoning (carbofuran). Furthermore, modelling results showed that these lethal pesticide-related poisonings decreased the population growth rate by less than 1%. In conclusion, we did not point out important direct acute and short-term effects of pesticides currently used by farmers during the breeding season on the grey partridge. This is discussed with regards to the complexity of potential effects in operational conditions.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25828892 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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8. J Exp Biol. 2015 Mar 31. pii: jeb.116509. [Epub ahead of print]

The potential effects of climate change-associated temperature increases on the metabolic rate of a small Afrotropical bird.

Thompson LJ1, Brown M2, Downs CT1.
Author information:
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P Bag X01, Scottsville, 3201, South Africa
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P Bag X01, Scottsville, 3201, South Africa.


Studies have only recently begun to underline the importance of including data on species' physiological flexibility when modelling their vulnerability to extinction from climate change. We investigated the effects of a 4°C increase in ambient temperature (Ta), similar to that predicted for southern Africa by the year 2080, on certain physiological variables of a 10-12g passerine bird endemic to southern Africa, the Cape white-eye Zosterops virens. There was no significant difference in resting metabolism, body mass and intraperitoneal body temperature between birds housed indoors at 4°C above outside ambient temperature and those housed indoors at outside ambient temperature. We conclude that Cape white-eyes' physiological flexibility will aid them in coping with the 4°C increase predicted for their range by 2080.
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
PMID: 25827836 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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9. Virology. 2015 Mar 25;482:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.03.020. [Epub ahead of print]

Limited susceptibility of mice to Usutu virus (USUV) infection and induction of flavivirus cross-protective immunity.

Blázquez AB1, Escribano-Romero E1, Martín-Acebes MA1, Petrovic T2, Saiz JC3.
Author information:
Departamento de Biotecnología. Ctra. Coruña Km. 7.5, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Scientific Veterinary Institute "Novi Sad", Novi Sad, Serbia.
Departamento de Biotecnología. Ctra. Coruña Km. 7.5, 28040 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:


Flaviviruses are RNA viruses that constitute a worrisome threat to global human and animal health. In Europe, West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks have dramatically increased in number and severity in recent years, with dozens of human and horse deaths and a high avian mortality across the continent. Besides WNV, the only clinically relevant mosquito-borne flavivirus detected so far in Europe has been the Usutu virus (USUV), which after being reported for the first time in Austria in 2001, quickly spread across Europe, causing a considerable number of bird deaths and neurological disorders in a few immunocompromised patients. Even though USUV infects multiple avian species that develop antibodies, there is little information about USUV susceptibility, pathogenicity and cross-reactive immunity. Here, the susceptibility of suckling and adult mice to USUV infection and the induction of cross-protective immunity against WNV challenge have been addressed.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25827530 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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10. Mol Ecol. 2015 Mar 31. doi: 10.1111/mec.13180. [Epub ahead of print]

Evolutionary dynamics of Rh2 opsins in birds demonstrate an episode of accelerated evolution in the New World warblers (Setophaga).

Bloch NI1, Price TD, Chang BS.
Author information:
Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA.


Low rates of sequence evolution associated with purifying selection can be interrupted by episodic changes in selective regimes. Visual pigments are a unique system in which we can investigate the functional consequences of genetic changes, therefore connecting genotype to phenotype in the context of natural and sexual selection pressures. We study the RH2 and RH1 visual pigments (opsins) across 22 bird species belonging to two ecologically convergent clades, the New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae), and evaluate rates of evolution in these clades along with data from 21 additional species. We demonstrate generally slow evolution of these opsins: both Rh1 and Rh2 are highly conserved across Old World and New World warblers. However, Rh2 underwent a burst of evolution within the New World genus Setophaga, where it accumulated substitutions at 6 amino acid sites across the species we studied. Evolutionary analyses revealed a significant increase in dN /dS in Setophaga, implying relatively strong selective pressures to overcome long-standing purifying selection. We studied the effects of each substitution on spectral tuning and found they do not cause large spectral shifts. Thus substitutions may reflect other aspects of opsin function, such as those affecting photosensitivity and/or dark-light adaptation. Although it is unclear what these alterations mean for color perception, we suggest that rapid evolution is linked to sexual selection, given the exceptional plumage colour diversification in Setophaga. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25827331 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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11. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Mar 27;33:78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.03.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Motor-related signals in the auditory system for listening and learning.

Schneider DM1, Mooney R2.
Author information:
  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710, United States.
  • 2Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710, United States. Electronic address:

  • Abstract

    In the auditory system, corollary discharge signals are theorized to facilitate normal hearing and the learning of acoustic behaviors, including speech and music. Despite clear evidence of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex and their presumed importance for hearing and auditory-guided motor learning, the circuitry and function of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex are not well described. In this review, we focus on recent developments in the mouse and songbird that provide insights into the circuitry that transmits corollary discharge signals to the auditory system and the function of these signals in the context of hearing and vocal learning.
    Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    PMID: 25827273 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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    12. Poult Sci. 2015 Mar 29. pii: pev078. [Epub ahead of print]

    Oral administration of the Salmonella Typhimurium vaccine strain Nal2/Rif9/Rtt to laying hens at day of hatch reduces shedding and caecal colonization of Salmonella 4,12:i:-, the monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium.

    Kilroy S1, Raspoet R2, Devloo R2, Haesebrouck F2, Ducatelle R2, Van Immerseel F2.
    Author information:
    Department of Pathology, Bacteriology, and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
    Department of Pathology, Bacteriology, and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


    A new monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella enterica serotype 4,12:i:-, is rapidly emerging. This serotype is now considered to be among the 10 most common serovars isolated from humans in many countries in Europe and in the United States. The public health risk posed by these emerging monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium strains is considered comparable to that of classical Salmonella Typhimurium strains. The serotype 4,12:i:- is frequently isolated from pigs but also poultry are carrying strains from this serotype. In the current study, we evaluated the efficacy of the Salmonella Typhimurium strain Nal2/Rif9/Rtt, a strain contained in the commercially available live vaccines AviPro Salmonella Duo and AviPro Salmonella VacT, against infection with the emerging monophasic variant in poultry. Three independent trials were conducted. In all trials, laying type chicks were orally vaccinated with the Salmonella Typhimurium strain Nal2/Rif9/Rtt at d hatch, while the birds were challenged the next d with a different infection dose in each trial (low, high, and intermediate). For the intermediate-dose study, a seeder bird model was used in which one out of 3 animals were infected while all individual birds were infected in the other trials. Data obtained from each independent trial show that oral administration of the Salmonella Typhimurium strain Nal2/Rif9/Rtt at d hatch reduced shedding, caecal, and internal organ colonization of Salmonella Typhimurium 4,12:i:-, administered at d 2 life. This indicates that Salmonella Typhimurium strain Nal2/Rif9/Rtt can help to control Salmonella 4,12:i:- infections in poultry.
    © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.
    PMID: 25825785 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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    13. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 30;10(3):e0121118. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121118. eCollection 2015.

    Refugia Persistence of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau by the Cold-Tolerant Bird Tetraogallus tibetanus (Galliformes: Phasianidae).

    An B1, Zhang L2, Liu N3, Wang Y4.
    Author information:
    School of Basic Medicine Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.
    School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China; Gansu Key Laboratory of Biomonitoring and Bioremediation for Environmental Pollution, Lanzhou, China.
    School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.
    Pediatric Research Institute, Qilu Children's Hospital of Shandong University, Ji'nan, Shandong, China.


    Most of the temperate species are expected to have moved to lower altitudes during the glacial periods of the Quaternary. Here we tested this hypothesis in a cold-tolerant avian species Tibetan snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus) using two segments of mitochondrial gene (a 705bp Cytochrome-b; abbrev. Cyt-b and an 854 bp Control Region; abbrev. CR) and eight microsatellite loci by characterizing population differentiation and gene flow across its range. Combined (Cyt-b + CR) datasets detected several partially lineages with poor support. Microsatellite data, however, identified two distinct lineages congruent with the geographically separated western and central regions of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). The phylogeographic patterns that we observed might be explained by a combination of vicariance events that led to local isolation of T. tibetanus during warm periods and range expansions and population intermixing during cold periods. The results of this study add to our knowledge of population differentiation and connectivity in high altitude mountain ecosystems.
    Free Article
    PMID: 25822918 [PubMed - in process]

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    14. J Comp Psychol. 2015 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]

    Temporal Coherence for Complex Signals in Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Humans (Homo sapiens).

    Neilans EG, Dent ML.


    The auditory scene is filled with an array of overlapping acoustic signals, yet relatively little work has focused on how animals are able to perceptually isolate different sound sources necessary for survival. Much of the previous work on auditory scene analysis has investigated how sequential pure tone stimuli are perceived, but how temporally overlapping complex communication signals are segregated has been largely ignored. In this study, budgerigars and humans were tested using psychophysical procedures to measure their perception of synchronous, asynchronous, and partially overlapping complex signals, including bird calls and human vowels. Segregation thresholds for complex stimuli were significantly lower than those for pure tone stimuli in both humans and birds. Additionally, a species effect was discovered such that relative to humans, budgerigars required significantly less temporal separation between 2 sounds in order to segregate them. Overall, and similar to previous behavioral results investigating temporal coherence, the results from this experiment illustrate that temporal cues are particularly important for auditory scene analysis across multiple species and for both simple and complex acoustic signals. (PsycINFO Database Record
    (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    PMID: 25822769 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    15. Oecologia. 2015 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]

    Light-level geolocators reveal covariation between winter plumage molt and phenology in a trans-Saharan migratory bird.

    Author information:
    Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, via Celoria 26, 20133, Milan, Italy,


    Contingent individual performance can depend on the environment experienced at previous life-stages. Migratory birds are especially susceptible to such carry-over effects as they periodically travel between breeding ranges and 'wintering' areas where they may experience broadly different ecological conditions. However, the study of carry-over effects is hampered by the difficulty of tracking vagile organisms throughout their annual life-cycle. Using information from light-level geolocators on the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), we tested if feather growth bar width (GBW), a proxy of feather growth rate which depends on individual condition, and wing isometric size and shape predict the phenology of subsequent migration. GBW did not predict duration of wintering but negatively predicted the duration of spring migration and arrival date to the breeding sites, suggesting that migration phenology is not constrained by molt, and individuals in prime condition achieve both faster molt and earlier arrival. Wing morphology did not predict migration duration, as expected if wing shape were optimized for foraging, rather than migration performance, in this aerially foraging, insectivorous bird. Thus, we showed for the first time that migration phenology in a long-distance migratory bird covaries with body condition during wintering, as reflected by the growth rate of feathers.
    PMID: 25822115 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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    16. Oecologia. 2015 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]

    Detecting mismatches of bird migration stopover and tree phenology in response to changing climate.

    Kellermann JL1, van Riper C 3rd.
    Author information:
    School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA,


    Migratory birds exploit seasonal variation in resources across latitudes, timing migration to coincide with the phenology of food at stopover sites. Differential responses to climate in phenology across trophic levels can result in phenological mismatch; however, detecting mismatch is sensitive to methodology. We examined patterns of migrant abundance and tree flowering, phenological mismatch, and the influence of climate during spring migration from 2009 to 2011 across five habitat types of the Madrean Sky Islands in southeastern Arizona, USA. We used two metrics to assess phenological mismatch: synchrony and overlap. We also examined whether phenological overlap declined with increasing difference in mean event date of phenophases. Migrant abundance and tree flowering generally increased with minimum spring temperature but depended on annual climate by habitat interactions. Migrant abundance was lowest and flowering was highest under cold, snowy conditions in high elevation montane conifer habitat while bird abundance was greatest and flowering was lowest in low elevation riparian habitat under the driest conditions. Phenological synchrony and overlap were unique and complementary metrics and should both be used when assessing mismatch. Overlap declined due to asynchronous phenologies but also due to reduced migrant abundance or flowering when synchrony was actually maintained. Overlap declined with increasing difference in event date and this trend was strongest in riparian areas. Montane habitat specialists may be at greatest risk of mismatch while riparian habitat could provide refugia during dry years for phenotypically plastic species. Interannual climate patterns that we observed match climate change projections for the arid southwest, altering stopover habitat condition.
    PMID: 25822114 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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