Populations of migratory birds have undergone marked declines, although the causes and mechanisms remain unknown. Because environmental effects on population dynamics are mediated by the effects of ecological factors on individuals, understanding changes in individual phenotypes in response to ecological conditions is key to understanding population trends. We show that breeding individuals of a declining population of trans-Saharan migratory barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, were affected by environmental conditions, as estimated from the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), reflecting primary production, in their winter quarters. The breeding dates of the same individuals in consecutive breeding seasons were advanced and clutch sizes were larger after winters with high NDVI in the winter quarters. Feather moult was also affected by winter conditions, with consequences for male sexual attractiveness. Length of tail ornament was positively correlated with NDVI during the previous winter, and males with large tail ornaments reproduced earlier and had larger clutches. The mean annual breeding date of the population was earlier and breeding success was increased after favourable winters, but this result was mainly determined by a single winter with very low NDVI. Thus, ecological conditions in Africa influence individual performance and productivity in a barn swallow population

Ecological conditions during winter affect sexual selection and breeding in a migratory bird / N. Saino, T. Szèp, R. Ambrosini, M. Romano, A.P. Møller. - In: PROCEEDINGS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 0962-8452. - 271:1540(2004), pp. 681-686.

Ecological conditions during winter affect sexual selection and breeding in a migratory bird

N. Saino
Primo
;
R. Ambrosini;M. Romano
Penultimo
;
2004

Abstract

Populations of migratory birds have undergone marked declines, although the causes and mechanisms remain unknown. Because environmental effects on population dynamics are mediated by the effects of ecological factors on individuals, understanding changes in individual phenotypes in response to ecological conditions is key to understanding population trends. We show that breeding individuals of a declining population of trans-Saharan migratory barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, were affected by environmental conditions, as estimated from the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), reflecting primary production, in their winter quarters. The breeding dates of the same individuals in consecutive breeding seasons were advanced and clutch sizes were larger after winters with high NDVI in the winter quarters. Feather moult was also affected by winter conditions, with consequences for male sexual attractiveness. Length of tail ornament was positively correlated with NDVI during the previous winter, and males with large tail ornaments reproduced earlier and had larger clutches. The mean annual breeding date of the population was earlier and breeding success was increased after favourable winters, but this result was mainly determined by a single winter with very low NDVI. Thus, ecological conditions in Africa influence individual performance and productivity in a barn swallow population
Carry-over effects; Connectivity; Migration; Normalized difference vegetation index; Phenotypic plasticity
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/13282
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