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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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Proportion of migratory birds from Crozet and Kerguelen in the different oceanic sectors of the Southern Ocean over the annual cycle of the sabbatical year (Figure produced from Statistica).
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f3: Proportion of migratory birds from Crozet and Kerguelen in the different oceanic sectors of the Southern Ocean over the annual cycle of the sabbatical year (Figure produced from Statistica).

Mentions: Migrants left the Indian Ocean between mid-December and mid-January after fledging a chick, and returned in early December, having spent the sabbatical year off Australia or in the Pacific. Different ocean sectors were used seasonally by the circumpolar migrants; Chilean waters in March-April and New Zealand waters in July-September (Fig. 3). Wandering albatrosses spend the sabbatical year mainly in oceanic sub-tropical waters (Fig. 1), but on average females use waters that are 3°C warmer than males because they have a more northerly distribution (ANOVA F1,131 = 3.6, P = 0.031). Only for males did the mean temperature differ between sedentary (11.1°C) and migratory individuals (13.3°C). During the sabbatical year, sedentary and migratory birds differ in several aspects of their at-sea activity (flight) patterns. In South American waters (off Chile especially) where most migratory birds remained for an initial two months (Fig. 3), birds were very active, and spent substantially less time resting on the water than those off Australian and New Zealand (Table 2).


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)

Proportion of migratory birds from Crozet and Kerguelen in the different oceanic sectors of the Southern Ocean over the annual cycle of the sabbatical year (Figure produced from Statistica).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f3: Proportion of migratory birds from Crozet and Kerguelen in the different oceanic sectors of the Southern Ocean over the annual cycle of the sabbatical year (Figure produced from Statistica).
Mentions: Migrants left the Indian Ocean between mid-December and mid-January after fledging a chick, and returned in early December, having spent the sabbatical year off Australia or in the Pacific. Different ocean sectors were used seasonally by the circumpolar migrants; Chilean waters in March-April and New Zealand waters in July-September (Fig. 3). Wandering albatrosses spend the sabbatical year mainly in oceanic sub-tropical waters (Fig. 1), but on average females use waters that are 3°C warmer than males because they have a more northerly distribution (ANOVA F1,131 = 3.6, P = 0.031). Only for males did the mean temperature differ between sedentary (11.1°C) and migratory individuals (13.3°C). During the sabbatical year, sedentary and migratory birds differ in several aspects of their at-sea activity (flight) patterns. In South American waters (off Chile especially) where most migratory birds remained for an initial two months (Fig. 3), birds were very active, and spent substantially less time resting on the water than those off Australian and New Zealand (Table 2).

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