Forging sustainability

Study on range wide energetic tradeoffs to breeding performance in Icelandic whimbrels

Study on range wide energetic tradeoffs to breeding performance in Icelandic whimbrels

The Icelandic whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus islandicus) is a long-distance migratory wader that spends the wintering season along the Atlantic coast, from temperate western Europe to tropical west Africa. This subspecies was the model study in Camilo Carneiro’s PhD, which, among others, had the aims of investigating tradeoffs between migration costs and wintering energetic balance, and carry-over effects from the wintering period into subsequent breeding phenology and investment. After intensive data collection in the Bijagós Archipelago (Guinea-Bissau), the Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania), the Tejo Estuary (Portugal) and in the breeding grounds in Iceland, it was found that by migrating further, individuals will likely winter where they can achieve a more positive energetic balance, and that females wintering in different regions did not differ significantly in laying dates nor size of eggs laid. Hence, Icelandic whimbrels tradeoff migratory costs and wintering conditions, but no apparent carry-over effects exist into breeding phenology and investment (and, therefore, breeding success).

These results were recently published and discussed in Ecography, a journal that ranks 10/168 in the field of Ecology and 3/59 in Biodiversity Conservation, and can be accessed openly here.

Ecography also published a short text about the paper on their blog

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