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.
Light-level geolocators reveal covariation between winter plumage molt and phenology in a trans-Saharan migratory bird / N. Saino, D. Rubolini, R. Ambrosini, M. Romano, C. Scandolara, G.D. Fairhurst, M. Caprioli, A. Romano, B. Sicurella, F. Liechti. - In: OECOLOGIA. - ISSN 0029-8549. - 178:4(2015), pp. 1105-1112.
|Titolo:||Light-level geolocators reveal covariation between winter plumage molt and phenology in a trans-Saharan migratory bird|
SAINO, NICOLA MICHELE FRANCESCO (Corresponding)
RUBOLINI, DIEGO (Secondo)
|Parole Chiave:||Feather growth rate; Light-level geolocators; Migration phenology; Molt; Wing morphology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3299-1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|