A1 Journal article – refereed

Identifying the paths of climate effects on population dynamics: dynamic and multilevel structural equation model around the annual cycle

List of Authors: Selonen V, Helle S, Laaksonen T, Ahola MP, Lehikoinen E, Eeva T

Publisher: SPRINGER

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Oecologia

Journal name in source: OECOLOGIA

Journal acronym: OECOLOGIA

Volume number: 195

Issue number: 2

Number of pages: 14

ISSN: 0029-8549

eISSN: 1432-1939

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-020-04817-3

How environmental factors influence population dynamics in long-distance migrants is complicated by the spatiotemporal diversity of the environment the individuals experience during the annual cycle. The effects of weather on several different aspects of life history have been well studied, but a better understanding is needed on how weather affects population dynamics through the different associated traits. We utilise 77 years of data from pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), to identify the most relevant climate signals associated with population growth rate. The strongest signals on population growth were observed from climate during periods when the birds were not present in the focal location. The population decline was associated with increasing precipitation in the African non-breeding quarters in the autumn (near the arrival of migrants) and with increasing winter temperature along the migration route (before migration). The number of fledglings was associated positively with increasing winter temperature in non-breeding area and negatively with increasing winter temperature in Europe. These possible carry-over effects did not arise via timing of breeding or clutch size but the exact mechanism remains to be revealed in future studies. High population density and low fledgling production were the intrinsic factors reducing the breeding population. We conclude that weather during all seasons has the potential to affect the reproductive success or population growth rate of this species. Our results show how weather can influence the population dynamics of a migratory species through multiple pathways, even at times of the annual cycle when the birds are in a different location than the climate signal.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:49