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Migration speed and scheduling of annual events by migrating birds in relation to climate change

  • Anders Hedenström
  • Zoltan Barta
  • Barbara Helm
  • Alasdair I Houston
  • John M McNamara
  • Niclas Jonzén
Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 79-91
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Climate Research
Volym: 35
Nummer: 1-2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Inter-Research


Empirical evidence for changed timing of migration in birds is emerging from both

American and Euro-African migration systems. These changes are usually interpreted as a consequence

of changes in climate. Responses in timing of migration and breeding may differ among species,

and the adaptive significance is not well understood. There is a lack of theoretical understanding

about time-shifts in life-history events due to climatic changes. In the present paper, we use 2

separate modelling approaches to investigate the effects of climate change on migration. We first use

a simple model of flight speed and foraging to explore which factors may influence migration speed

and stopover itinerary. Our second approach derives predictions based on an annual routine model,

where behavioural strategies regarding timing of migration, breeding, moult and number of breeding

attempts are modelled in an environment comprising 4 locations (breeding and wintering sites

and 2 stopover sites). This approach takes account of interrelationships between behaviours and seasons

as a step towards realistic modelling of migratory connectivity. Departure from the wintering site

is advanced in relation to the advancement of spring if the moult is in summer, but not so for species

with a winter moult, while arrival at the breeding site is advanced for both moult scenarios. Timing of

breeding and number of successful broods were also affected by spring advancement, while start of

moult is relatively unaffected by climate change. These optimal solutions under the modelled set of

parameters are discussed with respect to current knowledge of the mechanisms underlying seasonal

timing in birds.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Annual routines · Climate change · Phenology · Timing of breeding · Bird migration


  • ISSN: 1616-1572

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