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Individual variability and versatility in an eco-evolutionary model of avian migration

Citation

Van Doren, Benjamin M. et al. (2020), Individual variability and versatility in an eco-evolutionary model of avian migration, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2280gb5qc

Abstract

Seasonal migration is a complex and variable behavior with the potential to promote reproductive isolation. In Eurasian blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla), a migratory divide in central Europe separating populations with southwest and southeast autumn routes may facilitate isolation, and individuals using new wintering areas in Britain show divergence from Mediterranean winterers. We tracked 100 blackcaps in the wild to characterize these strategies. Blackcaps to the west and east of the divide used predominantly SW and SE directions, respectively, but close to the contact zone many individuals took intermediate (S) routes. At 14.0ºE, we documented a sharp transition from SW to SE migratory directions across only 27 (10–86) km, implying a strong selection gradient across the divide. Blackcaps wintering in Britain took northwesterly migration routes from continental European breeding grounds. They originated from a surprisingly extensive area, spanning 2000 km of the breeding range. British winterers bred in sympatry with SW-bound migrants but arrived 9.8 days earlier on the breeding grounds, suggesting some potential for assortative mating by timing. Overall, our data reveal complex variation in songbird migration and suggest that selection can maintain variation in migration direction across short distances while enabling the spread of a novel strategy across a wide range.

Methods

Raw data were obtained from light-level geolocators deployed on Eurasian Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) and analyzed in the R statistical computing environment (https://cran.r-project.org/). Archived are raw light data (.lux files), processed and compiled output for the final analysis, and analysis scripts.

Usage Notes

README file provided in root directory of the archive, alongside a full file tree and tarred dataset.

Funding

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission

American Ornithological Society

Society for the Study of Evolution

Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund

British Trust for Ornithology

Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences

NIOO-KNAW

Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund

British Trust for Ornithology

Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences

NIOO-KNAW

Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education