Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 95, Issue 12, pp 1109–1119 | Cite as

Emergence of long distance bird migrations: a new model integrating global climate changes

Review

Abstract

During modern birds history, climatic and environmental conditions have evolved on wide scales. In a continuously changing world, landbirds annual migrations emerged and developed. However, models accounting for the origins of these avian migrations were formulated with static ecogeographic perspectives. Here I reviewed Cenozoic paleoclimatic and paleontological data relative to the palearctic–paleotropical long distance (LD) migration system. This led to propose a new model for the origin of LD migrations, the ‘shifting home’ model (SHM). It is based on a dynamic perspective of climate evolution and may apply to the origins of most modern migrations. Non-migrant tropical African bird taxa were present at European latitudes during most of the Cenozoic. Their distribution limits shifted progressively toward modern tropical latitudes during periods of global cooling and increasing seasonality. In parallel, decreasing winter temperatures in the western Palearctic drove shifts of population winter ranges toward the equator. I propose that this induced the emergence of most short distance migrations, and in turn LD migrations. This model reconciliates ecologically tropical ancestry of most LD migrants with predominant winter range shifts, in accordance with requirements for heritable homing. In addition, it is more parsimonious than other non-exclusive models. Greater intrinsic plasticity of winter ranges implied by the SHM is supported by recently observed impacts of the present global warming on migrating birds. This may induce particular threats to some LD migrants. The ancestral, breeding homes of LD migrants were not ‘northern’ or ‘southern’ but shifted across high and middle latitudes while migrations emerged through winter range shifts themselves.

Keywords

Aves Cenozoic Evolution Migration Paleoclimate Seasonality Range shifts 

Supplementary material

114_2008_435_MOESM1_ESM.doc (519 kb)
Table S1Earliest fossil occurrences in the western Palearctic of modern bird families that comprise today both non-migrating species or populations and LD temperate-tropical migrating species or populations (519 kb).
114_2008_435_MOESM2_ESM.doc (590 kb)
Table S2Low atmosphere paleoclimatic data (WMM, CMM, MAP) for different periods and localities spanning different latitudes of northern, central and western Europe and Africa north of the equator in the Cenozoic (589 kb).
114_2008_435_MOESM3_ESM.doc (270 kb)
Table S3Latitudinal interval of the average position of the three selected limits of tropical climatic conditions through the Cenozoic in Europe and Africa north of the equator (270 KB).
114_2008_435_Fig1_ESM.gif (94 kb)
Figure S4

Constraining envelopes for the latitudinal Cenozoic evolution of the limits of tropical conditions of MAP (a), WMM (b) and CMM (c) derived from the data in the Table S3, and approximate respective trends (94 kb)

114_2008_435_Fig1_ESM.eps (1.7 mb)
High resolution image file (EPS 1.68 mb)
114_2008_435_Fig2_ESM.gif (53 kb)
Figure S5

Cenozoic trends for the latitude of limits of humid tropical MAP, WMM and CMM in Europe and the northern part of Africa. Derived from Fig. S4 (53.1 kb).

114_2008_435_Fig2_ESM.eps (1.2 mb)
High resolution image file (EPS 1.19 mb)
114_2008_435_MOESM8_ESM.doc (822 kb)
Table S6Synthesis of fossil occurrences in the Cenozoic of Europe and Africa north of the equator, of taxa (orders to genera) that comprise only non-migrant species restricted to the Paleotropical province, the Old World tropics, or the Pantropical area in Africa, i.e. non migrants in the tropics or subtropics of sub-Saharan Africa (822 kb).
114_2008_435_MOESM9_ESM.doc (518 kb)
Table S7Recent shifts observed in breeding and wintering ranges of migrating birds in Europe (and some in northern America) linked at least in part to the global climate warming (517 kb).

References

  1. Able KP, Belthoff JR (1998) Rapid ‘evolution’ of migratory behaviour in the introduced House Finch of eastern North America. Proc R Soc London B 265:2063–2071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Axelrod DI (1983) Paleobotanical history of the western deserts. In: Wells SG, Haragan DR (eds) Origin and evolution of deserts. Univ New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, pp 113–129Google Scholar
  3. Bell CP (2000) Process in the evolution of bird migration and pattern in avian ecogeography. J Avian Biol 31:258–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell CP (2005) The origin and development of bird migration: comments on Rappole and Jones, and an alternative evolutionary model. Ardea 93:115–123Google Scholar
  5. Berthold P (1993) Bird migration, a general survey. Oxford Univ Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Berthold P (1999) A comprehensive theory for the evolution, control and adaptability of avian migration. Ostrich 70:1–11Google Scholar
  7. Blondel J, Mourer-Chauviré C (1998) Evolution and history of the western palearctic avifauna. Trends Ecol Evol 13:488–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Böhning-Gaese K, Oberrath R (2003) Macroecology of habitat choice in long-distance migratory birds. Oecologia 137:296–303PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Both C, Visser ME (2001) Adjustment to climate change is constrained by arrival date in a long-distance migrant bird. Nature 411:296–298PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bradshaw WE, Holzapfel CM (2006) Evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Science 312:1477–1478PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bruderer B, Salewski V, Liechti F (2008) Gedanken zur Evolution des Vogelzuges. Ornithol Beob 105:165–167Google Scholar
  12. Cheneval J (1989) Fossil bird study, and paleoecological and paleoenvironmental consequences: example from the Saint-Gérand-le-Puy deposits (Lower Miocene, Allier, France). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 73:295–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cox GW (1968) The role of competition in the evolution of migration. Evolution 22:180–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cox GW (1985) The evolution of avian migration systems between temperate and tropical regions of the New World. Am Nat 126:451–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fedorov AV, Dekens PS, McCarthy M, Ravelo AC, de Menocal PB, Barreiro M, Pacanowski RC, Philander SG (2006) The Pliocene paradox (mechanisms for a permanent El Niño). Science 312:1485–1489PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Feduccia A (1996) The origin and evolution of birds. Yale Univ Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  17. Gauthreaux S (1982) The ecology and evolution of avian migration systems. In: Farner DS, King JR, Parkes KC (eds) Avian biology. Academic, New York, pp 93–168Google Scholar
  18. Graham A (1999) Studies in neotropical paleobotany. XIII. An Oligo-Miocene palynoflora from Simojovel (Chiapas, Mexico). Am J Botany 86:17–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Greenberg R (1980) Demographic aspects of long-distance migration. In: Keast A, Morton ES (eds) Migrant birds in the Neotropics. Smithson Instit, Washington, DC, pp 493–504Google Scholar
  20. Guo Z, Peng S, Hao Q, Biscaye PE, An Z, Liu T (2004) Late miocene-pliocene development of asian aridification as recorded in the Red-Earth formation in northern China. Global Planet Change 41:135–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haarhoff PJ (1993) Latest Pliocene mousebirds (Aves, Coliidae) from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Ann S Afr Mus 103:191–211Google Scholar
  22. Hawkins BA, Diniz-Filho JAF, Jaramillo CA, Soeller SA (2006) Post-Eocene climate change, niche conservatism, and the latitudinal diversity gradient of New World birds. J Biogeogr 33:770–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Helbig AJ (2003) Evolution of migration: a phylogenetic and biogeographic perspective. In: Berthold P, Gwinner E, Sonnenschein E (eds) Avian migration. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 3–20Google Scholar
  24. Helm B, Gwinner E (2006) Migratory restlessness in an equatorial nonmigratory bird. PLoS Biology 4:611–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hewitt G (2000) The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages. Nature 405:907–913PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. IPCC (2001a) Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, USAGoogle Scholar
  27. IPCC (2001b) Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, USAGoogle Scholar
  28. Jahn AE, Levey DJ, Smith KG (2004) Reflections across hemispheres: a system-wide approach to New World bird migration. Auk 121:1005–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson MD, Sherry TW, Strong AM, Medori A (2005) Migrants in neotropical bird communities: an assessment of the breeding currency hypothesis. J Animal Ecol 74:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Joseph L, Lessa EP, Christidis L (1999) Phylogeny and biogeography in the evolution of migration: shorebirds of the Charadrius complex. J Biogeogr 26:329–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Joseph L, Wilke T, Alpers D (2003) Independent evolution of migration on the South American landscape in a long-distance temperate-tropical migratory bird, Swainson’s Flycatcher (Myiarchus swainsoni). J Biogeogr 30:925–937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lihoreau F, Boisserie JR, Viriot L, Coppens Y, Likius A, Mackaye HT, Tafforeau P, Vignaud P, Brunet M (2006) Anthracothere dental anatomy reveals a late Miocene Chado-Libyan bioprovince. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:8763–8767PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lovette IJ (2005) Glacial cycles and the tempo of avian speciation. Trends Ecol Evol 20:57–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Matthiesen DG (1990) Avian medullary bone in the fossil record, an example from the Early Pleistocene of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. J Vert Paleontol 9:34AGoogle Scholar
  35. Mayr G (2005) The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe. Biol Rev 80:515–542PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mayr E, Meise W (1930) Theoretisches zur Geschichte des Vogelzuges. Vogelzug 1:149–172Google Scholar
  37. Mila B, Smith TB, Wayne RK (2006) Postglacial population expansion drives the evolution of long-distance migration in a songbird. Evolution 60:2403–2409PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Mlíkovský J (2002) Cenozoic birds of the world, Part 1: Europe. Ninox, PrahaGoogle Scholar
  39. Møller AP (2001) Heritability of arrival date in a migratory bird. Proc R Soc London B 268:203–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mosbrugger V, Utescher T, Dilcher DL (2005) Cenozoic continental climatic evolution of central Europe. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102:14964–14969PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mourer-Chauviré C (2004) Review: cenozoic birds of the world, part 1: Europe. Auk 121:623–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nilsson ALK, Alerstam T, Nilsson JA (2006) Do partial and regular migrants differ in their responses to weather? Auk 123:537–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Olson SL (1985) The fossil record of birds. In: Farner DS, King JR, Parkes KC (eds) Avian biology. Academic, New York, pp 79–238Google Scholar
  44. Olson SL (1989) Aspects of global avifaunal dynamics during the Cenozoic. In: Ouellet H (ed) Acta XIX congressus internationalis ornithologici. Univ Ottawa Press, Ottawa, pp 2023–2029Google Scholar
  45. Olson SL, Rasmussen PC (2001) Miocene and pliocene birds from the Lee Creek mine, North Carolina. Smithson Contrib Paleobiol 90:233–345Google Scholar
  46. Outlaw DC, Voelker G (2006) Phylogenetic tests of hypotheses for the evolution of avian migration: a case study using the Motacillidae. Auk 123:455–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Parmesan C, Yohe G (2003) A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421:37–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Price TD, Helbig AJ, Richman AD (1997) Evolution of breeding distributions in the Old World leaf warblers (genus Phylloscopus). Evolution 51:552–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pulido F, Berthold P, van Noordwijk AJ (1996) Frequency of migrants and migratory activity are genetically correlated in a bird population: evolutionary implications. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93:14642–14647PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rappole JH (1995) Ecology of migrant birds: a neotropical perspective. Smithson Instit, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Rappole JH (2005) Evolution of old and New World migration systems: a response to Bell. Ardea 93:125–131Google Scholar
  52. Rappole JH, Tipton AR (1992) The evolution of avian migration in the Neotropics. Ornitol Neotrop 3:45–55Google Scholar
  53. Rappole JH, Jones P (2002) Evolution of old and New World migration systems. Ardea 90:525–537Google Scholar
  54. Rappole JH, Helm B, Ramos MA (2003) An integrative framework for understanding the origin and evolution of avian migration. J Avian Biol 34:124–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rick AM (1975) Bird medullary bone: a seasonal dating technique for faunal analysts. Bull Can Arch Assoc 7:183–190Google Scholar
  56. Riddle BR, Hafner DJ (2006) A step-wise approach to integrating phylogeographic and phylogenetic biogeographic perspectives on the history of a core North American warm deserts biota. J Arid Envir 66:435–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Robinson RA, Learmonth JA, Hutson AM, Macleod CD, Sparks TH, Leech DI, Pierce GJ, Rehfish MM, Crick HQP (2005) Climate change and migratory species. BTO Research Report 414:1–304Google Scholar
  58. Root T (1988) Environmental factors associated with avian distributional boundaries. J Biogeogr 15:489–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ruegg KC, Hijmans RJ, Moritz C (2006) Climate change and the origin of migratory pathways in the Swainson‘s Thrush, Catharus ustulatus. J Biogeogr 33:1172–1182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Safriel UN (1995) The evolution of palearctic migration—the case for southern ancestry. Israel J Zool 41:417–431Google Scholar
  61. Salewski V, Bruderer B (2007) The evolution of bird migration—a synthesis. Naturwissenschaften 94:268–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schuster M, Duringer P, Ghienne JF, Vignaud P, Mackaye HT, Likius A, Brunet M (2006) The age of the Sahara Desert. Science 311:821PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Simkiss K (1967) Calcium in reproductive physiology: a comparative study of vertebrates. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  64. Terrill SB, Ohmart RD (1984) Facultative extension of fall migration by Yellow-rumped Warblers (Dendroica coronata). Auk 101:427–438Google Scholar
  65. Terrill SB, Able KP (1988) Bird migration terminology. Auk 105:205–206Google Scholar
  66. Tyrberg T (1998) Pleistocene birds of the Palearctic: a catalogue. The Nuttall Ornithological Club, Cambridge, USAGoogle Scholar
  67. Tyrberg T (2007) Pleistocene Birds of the Palearctic http://web.telia.com/~u11502098/pleistocene.html, cached copy at http://www.webcitation.org/5NzvVu5Ib [online, 10 April 2007]
  68. Valiela I, Bowen JL (2003) Shifts in winter distributions in birds: effects of global warming and local habitat change. Ambio 32:476–480PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Walther GR, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin JM, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Bairlein F (2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416:389–395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wiens JJ, Donoghue MJ (2004) Historical biogeography, ecology and species richness. Trends Ecol Evol 19:639–644PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Williams TC, Webb T III (1996) Neotropical bird migration during the Ice Ages: orientation and ecology. Auk 113:105–118Google Scholar
  72. Zachos JC, Flower BP, Paul H (1997) Orbitally paced climate oscillations across the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. Nature 388:567–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zachos JC, Pagani M, Sloan L, Thomas E, Billups K (2001) Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present. Science 292:686–693PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zink RM (2002) Towards a framework for understanding the evolution of avian migration. J Avian Biol 33:433–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Font MignotChuyerFrance
  2. 2.IPHEP – Institut de Paléoprimatologie et Paléontologie humaine: Evolution et Paléoenvironnements, CNRS UMR 6046, UFR-SFAUniversité de PoitiersPoitiers CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations