Organisms are routinely confronted with crucial decisions on the best time and place to perform fundamental activities. However, unpredictable spatio-temporal variation in ecological factors makes life-history optimization difficult particularly for long-distance migrants, which are putatively blind of conditions thousands of kilometers and weeks ahead along their journey. Here we challenge, on a hierarchy of geographical scales, the common wisdom that migratory birds have no clue to ecological conditions at destination. Using ringing data of the inter-continental migrating barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), we show that temperatures at breeding sites and at times of arrival from migration are more correlated with those at actual wintering sites and at times of departure than with those at other sites and at periods before/after departure. Hence, individual swallows have clues to adjust timing of spring migration based on expected conditions at destination, and they apparently choose wintering sites to increase availability of such information.

Barn swallows long-distance migration occurs between significantly temperature-correlated areas / M. Pancerasa, R. Ambrosini, N. Saino, R. Casagrandi. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 8:1(2018 Aug 17), pp. 12359.1-12359.9. [10.1038/s41598-018-30849-0]

Barn swallows long-distance migration occurs between significantly temperature-correlated areas

R. Ambrosini;N. Saino;
2018-08-17

Abstract

Organisms are routinely confronted with crucial decisions on the best time and place to perform fundamental activities. However, unpredictable spatio-temporal variation in ecological factors makes life-history optimization difficult particularly for long-distance migrants, which are putatively blind of conditions thousands of kilometers and weeks ahead along their journey. Here we challenge, on a hierarchy of geographical scales, the common wisdom that migratory birds have no clue to ecological conditions at destination. Using ringing data of the inter-continental migrating barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), we show that temperatures at breeding sites and at times of arrival from migration are more correlated with those at actual wintering sites and at times of departure than with those at other sites and at periods before/after departure. Hence, individual swallows have clues to adjust timing of spring migration based on expected conditions at destination, and they apparently choose wintering sites to increase availability of such information.
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/612860
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