Mechanisms driving phenological and range change in migratory species

Jennifer A. Gill, José A. Alves, Tómas G. Gunnarsson
2019 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences  
Many migratory systems are changing rapidly in space and time, and these changes present challenges for conservation. Changes in local abundance and site occupancy across species' ranges have raised concerns over the efficacy of the existing protected area networks, while changes in phenology can potentially create mismatches in the timing of annual events with the availability of key resources. These changes could arise either through individuals shifting in space and time or through
more » ... al shifts in the frequency of individuals using different locations or on differing migratory schedules. Using a long-term study of a migratory shorebird in which individuals have been tracked through a period of range expansion and phenological change, we show that these changes occur through generational shifts in spatial and phenological distributions, and that individuals are highly consistent in space and time. Predictions of future rates of changes in range size and phenology, and their implications for species conservation, will require an understanding of the processes that can drive generational shifts. We therefore explore the developmental, demographic and environmental processes that could influence generational shifts in phenology and distribution, and the studies that will be needed to distinguish among these mechanisms of change. This article is part of the theme issue 'Linking behaviour to dynamics of populations and communities: application of novel approaches in behavioural ecology to conservation'.
doi:10.1098/rstb.2018.0047 pmid:31352888 pmcid:PMC6710574 fatcat:kto7cqpyszctbmkfyt7m6csel4