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Extreme variation in migration strategies between and within wandering albatross populations during their sabbatical year, and their fitness consequences.

Weimerskirch H, Delord K, Guitteaud A, Phillips RA, Pinet P - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary.Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years.This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, CNRS, 79360 Villiers en Bois, France.

ABSTRACT
Migratory behavior, routes and zones used during the non-breeding season are assumed to have been selected to maximize fitness, and can lead to genetic differentiation. Yet, here we show that migration strategies differ markedly between and within two genetically similar populations of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans from the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary. Instead of taking the shortest routes, which would involve a return against headwinds, migratory birds fly with the westerly winds, requiring detours of 10,000 s km. In total, migrants circumnavigate Antarctica 2 to 3 times, covering more than 120,000 km in a single sabbatical year. Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years. To breed annually, these females temporarily change mate, but return to their original partner in the following year. This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries.

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Kernel densities or utilisation distributions (25%, 50% 75% and 95% UDs) of adult wandering albatrosses tracked during the sabbatical year from Crozet (red dot) and Kerguelen (blue dot).The 95% UD of breeding birds is indicated by the solid line for each population (Figures produced from R software).
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f1: Kernel densities or utilisation distributions (25%, 50% 75% and 95% UDs) of adult wandering albatrosses tracked during the sabbatical year from Crozet (red dot) and Kerguelen (blue dot).The 95% UD of breeding birds is indicated by the solid line for each population (Figures produced from R software).

Mentions: During the breeding season, wandering albatrosses tracked from Crozet and Kerguelen foraged in waters around the breeding grounds to maximum ranges of c. 3500 km (Fig. 1). When the breeding season ended in November, birds from the two populations dispersed throughout the southern oceans, but core areas were very different between populations (Fig. 1). Overlap between the two populations was low not only in the breeding season, but also during the sabbatical year (Fig. 1). However, within each population, the overlap in feeding zones used during the breeding and sabbatical year was near-complete for birds from Crozet, but minimal for those from Kerguelen birds (Fig. 1).


Extreme variation in migration strategies between and within wandering albatross populations during their sabbatical year, and their fitness consequences.

Weimerskirch H, Delord K, Guitteaud A, Phillips RA, Pinet P - Sci Rep (2015)

Kernel densities or utilisation distributions (25%, 50% 75% and 95% UDs) of adult wandering albatrosses tracked during the sabbatical year from Crozet (red dot) and Kerguelen (blue dot).The 95% UD of breeding birds is indicated by the solid line for each population (Figures produced from R software).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4352845&req=5

f1: Kernel densities or utilisation distributions (25%, 50% 75% and 95% UDs) of adult wandering albatrosses tracked during the sabbatical year from Crozet (red dot) and Kerguelen (blue dot).The 95% UD of breeding birds is indicated by the solid line for each population (Figures produced from R software).
Mentions: During the breeding season, wandering albatrosses tracked from Crozet and Kerguelen foraged in waters around the breeding grounds to maximum ranges of c. 3500 km (Fig. 1). When the breeding season ended in November, birds from the two populations dispersed throughout the southern oceans, but core areas were very different between populations (Fig. 1). Overlap between the two populations was low not only in the breeding season, but also during the sabbatical year (Fig. 1). However, within each population, the overlap in feeding zones used during the breeding and sabbatical year was near-complete for birds from Crozet, but minimal for those from Kerguelen birds (Fig. 1).

Bottom Line: Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary.Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years.This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, CNRS, 79360 Villiers en Bois, France.

ABSTRACT
Migratory behavior, routes and zones used during the non-breeding season are assumed to have been selected to maximize fitness, and can lead to genetic differentiation. Yet, here we show that migration strategies differ markedly between and within two genetically similar populations of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans from the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary. Instead of taking the shortest routes, which would involve a return against headwinds, migratory birds fly with the westerly winds, requiring detours of 10,000 s km. In total, migrants circumnavigate Antarctica 2 to 3 times, covering more than 120,000 km in a single sabbatical year. Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years. To breed annually, these females temporarily change mate, but return to their original partner in the following year. This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus