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Data from: Snowmelt and laying date shape the parental care strategy of a high-Arctic shorebird

Cite this dataset

Etchart, Léa et al. (2024). Data from: Snowmelt and laying date shape the parental care strategy of a high-Arctic shorebird [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v6wwpzh46

Abstract

Parental care varies across animal taxa, from uniparental to biparental care, driven by ecological and social factors such as weather, food availability, predation, and partner availability. Understanding this diversity within species can reveal biotic and abiotic conditions allowing uniparental versus biparental strategies. This study examines the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on parental care strategies in Sanderlings (Calidris alba), one of the few species that uses both types of care. Using long-term data from Greenland (2011-2023), path analyses revealed that laying date and snowmelt influence parental care strategies, with indirect climatic effects during migration and on breeding grounds. We observed a greater proportion of uniparental nests in years with delayed laying dates, and a greater proportion of biparental nests in years with delayed snowmelt. These findings underscore the complex interplay between environmental factors and parental care strategies, offering insights into how these strategies may evolve under changing ecological conditions.

README: Snowmelt and laying date shape the parental care strategy of a High-Arctic shorebird

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v6wwpzh46

This metadata file contains information on the dataset ‘data_Etchart_strategy’ from the paper ‘Snowmelt and laying date shape the parental care strategy of a High-Arctic shorebird’.

Each row of this dataset refers to a unique nest. In each column, information on unique nests are given.

·       Year: Year the nest was found.

·       Nest_id: unique combined ID of the nest, composed of the first four letters of the species name (SAND), the year, and the field nest ID.

·       Strategy: description of the nest’s parental care strategy; UNI if the nest is uniparental, i.e., one single parent incubates; BI if both parents incubate.

·       Relative_abundance: Total number of Sanderling nest found in the study area per year (/km²).

·       Nao_may: Global climatic conditions during the peak migration month (May) of Sanderlings, represented with the North Atlantic Oscillation index.

·       Local_temperature: Mean of the residuals of the relationship Daily temperature (°C) ~ Julian date of each monitored nest the 15-days prior to the laying. Represents the pre-laying conditions of each bird.

·       Laying_date: Date on which the first egg in each nest was laid.

·       Snow_cover: Julian date of 50% snow cover per year in our study area.

·       Predation: Index representing the yearly predation pressure.

·       Dummy_strat: Dummy variable of the strategy column, with biparental nests = 0 and uniparental nests = 1.

Methods

The dataset comes from a long-term field study based in Greenland. Sanderlings' nests are equipped with thermologgers, i.e., TinyTag to record temperatures during the incubation. This allows to infer the parental care strategy, biparental or uniparental of each nest, laying date, abundance, and predation pressure. Climatic variables were extracted from different sources (meteorological stations, satelite...). We processed all data with R.

Funding

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-21-CE02-0024

Institut Polaire Français Paul Émile Victor, Award: Interactions 1036