Mechanisms driving phenological and range change in migratory species

Jennifer Gill, Jose Alves, Tómas Grétar Gunnarsson

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50 Citations (Scopus)
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Many migratory systems are changing rapidly in space and time, and these changes present challenges for conservation. Changes in local abundance and site occupancy across species’ ranges have raised concerns over the efficacy of existing protected area networks, while changes in phenology can potentially create mismatches in the timing of annual events with the availability of key resources. These changes could arise either through individuals shifting in space and time or through generational shifts in the frequency of individuals using different locations or on differing migratory schedules. Using a long-term study of a migratory shorebird in which individuals have been tracked through a period of range expansion and phenological change, we show that these changes occur through generational shifts in spatial and phenological distributions, and that individuals are highly consistent in space and time. Predictions of future rates of changes in range size and phenology, and their implications for species conservation, will require an understanding of the processes that can drive generational shifts. We therefore explore the developmental, demographic and environmental processes that could influence generational shifts in phenology and distribution, and the studies that will be needed to distinguish among these mechanisms of change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20180047
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

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