Oecologia

, 162:175

Spring arrival along a migratory divide of sympatric blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla)

  • Gregor Rolshausen
  • Keith A. Hobson
  • H. Martin Schaefer
Community Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

The recent formation of a migratory divide in the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) involves sympatrically breeding birds migrating to different overwintering quarters. Within the last 50 years, a novel migratory strategy has evolved resulting in an increasing proportion of birds now wintering in Britain instead of migrating to the traditional sites in the Mediterranean area. This rapid microevolution has been attributed to allochronic spring arrival of migrants from the respective wintering quarters leading to assortative mating. Moreover, blackcaps wintering in Britain may experience fitness advantages owing to improved local wintering conditions. We used stable hydrogen isotope signatures (δD) to scrutinize the degree of temporal segregation of blackcaps upon spring arrival and to test for carry-over effects in body condition associated with the disparate wintering environments. Although we found that migrants from Britain arrive significantly earlier on German breeding grounds than migrants from the Mediterranean region, we also found a considerable overlap in arrival times. In a resampling model, the mean probability of assortative mating of birds wintering in Britain is ≤28% in both years. These results suggest that allochrony alone is not a strong isolating barrier between the two subpopulations. Migrants from both wintering locations did not differ in terms of body mass, mass-tarsus residuals or mass-tarsus ratio and arrived in a similar reproductive disposition. Thus, blackcaps wintering in Britain do not gain an apparent fitness advantage on spring migration due to carry-over effects in body condition. Future studies should explore additional factors such as differences in song quality and habitat that might contribute to the rapid microevolution of the blackcap.

Keywords

Microevolution Allochrony Migratory divide Carry-over effects Deuterium 

References

  1. Bearhop S, Furness RW, Hilton GM, Votier SC, Waldron S (2003) A forensic approach to understanding diet and habitat use from stable isotope analysis of (avian) claw material. Funct Ecol 17:270–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bearhop S, et al. (2005) Assortative mating as a mechanism for rapid evolution of a migratory divide. Science 310:502–504CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Berthold P (1971) Seasonal rhythm of Sylvia. Experientia 27:399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berthold P, Bairlein F (1984) On the return and breeding of a hand raised and released blackcap. J Ornithol 125:485–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berthold P, Terrill SB (1988) Migratory behaviour and population growth of blackcaps wintering in Britain and Ireland: some hypotheses. Ringing Migr 9:153–159Google Scholar
  6. Berthold P, Helbig AJ, Mohr G, Querner U (1992) Rapid microevolution of migratory behavior in a wild bird species. Nature 360:668–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bize P, Piault R, Moureau B, Heeb P (2006) A UV signal of offspring condition mediates context-dependent parental favouritism. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 273:2063–2068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bolnick DI, Fitzpatrick BM (2007) Sympatric speciation: models and empirical evidence. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 38:459–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowen GJ, Wassenaar LI, Hobson KA (2005) Global application of stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes to wildlife forensics. Oecologia 143:337–348CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown DR, Sherry TW (2006) Food supply controls the body condition of a migrant bird wintering in the tropics. Oecologia 149:22–32CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Carleton SA, Kelly L, Anderson-Sprecher R, del Rio CM (2008) Should we use one-, or multi-compartment models to describe C-13 incorporation into animal tissues? Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 22:3008–3014CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Chamberlain DE et al (2005) Annual and seasonal trends in the use of garden feeders by birds in winter. Ibis 147:563–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark GA (1979) Body weights of birds—review. Condor 81:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cooley JR, Simon C, Marshall DC (2003) Temporal separation and speciation in periodical cicadas. Bioscience 53:151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Coyne JA, Orr HA (2004) Speciation. Sinauer, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  16. Cuervo JJ, Moller AP, De Lope F (2007) Haematocrit is weakly related to condition in nestling barn swallows Hirundo rustica. Ibis 149:128–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawson A, King VM, Bentley GE, Ball GF (2001) Photoperiodic control of seasonality in birds. J Biol Rhythms 16:365–380CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Dieckmann U, Doebeli M, Metz JAJ, Tautz D (2004) Adaptive Speciation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. Drent R, Both C, Green M, Madsen J, Piersma T (2003) Pay-offs and penalties of competing migratory schedules. Oikos 103:274–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Friesen VL et al (2007) Sympatric speciation by allochrony in a seabird. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:18589–18594CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Gavrilets S (2003) Perspective: models of speciation: what have we learned in 40 years? Evolution 57:2197–2215PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Gharrett AJ, Smoot C, McGregor AJ, Holmes PB (1988) Genetic-relationships of even-year northwestern Alaskan pink salmon. Trans Am Fish Soc 117:536–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gill FB (2007) Bird sex, chapter 14. In: Ornithology, 3rd edn. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Gwinner E (1996) Circannual clocks in avian reproduction and migration. Ibis 138:47–63Google Scholar
  25. Hartl DL, Clark AG (2007) Principles of population genetics. Sinauer, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  26. Helbig AJ (1992) Population differentiation of migratory directions in birds—comparison between ringing results and orientation behavior of hand-raised migrants. Oecologia 90:483–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Helbig AJ (1996) Genetic basis, mode of inheritance and evolutionary changes of migratory directions in palearctic warblers (Aves: Sylviidae). J Exp Biol 199:49–55PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Helbig AJ, Berthold P, Mohr G, Querner U (1994) Inheritance of a novel migratory direction in central-European blackcaps. Naturwissenschaften 81:184–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hendry AP, Day T (2005) Population structure attributable to reproductive time: isolation by time and adaptation by time. Mol Ecol 14:901–916CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hewson CM et al (2007) Recent changes in bird populations in British broadleaved woodland. Ibis 149:14–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hobson KA (2003) Making migratroy connections with stable isotopes. In: Berthold P, Gwinner E, Sonnenschein E (eds) Avian migration. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  32. Hobson KA, Bowen GJ, Wassenaar LI, Ferrand Y, Lormee H (2004) Using stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope measurements of feathers to infer geographical origins of migrating European birds. Oecologia 141:477–488CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Hochachka W, Smith JNM (1991) Determinants and consequences of nestling condition in song sparrows. J Anim Ecol 60:995–1008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kempenaers B, Congdon B, Boag P, Robertson RJ (1999) Extrapair paternity and egg hatchability in tree swallows: evidence for the genetic compatibility hypothesis? Behav Ecol 10:304–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lombardo MP (2001) Individual and seasonal variation in external genitalia of male tree swallows. Auk 118:789–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Matthysen E (1989) Territorial and nonterritorial settling in juvenile Eurasian nuthatches (Sitta europaea L.) in summer. Auk 106:560–567Google Scholar
  37. Mazerolle DF, Hobson KA (2005) Estimating origins of short-distance migrant songbirds in North America: contrasting inferences from hydrogen isotope measurements of feathers, claws, and blood. Condor 107:280–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Monteiro LR, Furness RW (1998) Speciation through temporal segregation of Madeiran storm petrel (Oceanodroma castro) populations in the Azores? Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 353:945–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moreno J (1989) Body-mass variation in breeding northern wheatears—a field experiment with supplementary food. Condor 91:178–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Newton I (2006) Can conditions experienced during migration limit the population levels of birds? J Ornithol 147:146–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Norris DR, Marra PP, Kyser TK, Sherry TW, Ratcliffe LM (2004) Tropical winter habitat limits reproductive success on the temperate breeding grounds in a migratory bird. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 271:59–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Otto SP, Servedio MR, Nuismer SL (2008) Frequency-dependent selection and the evolution of assortative mating. Genetics 179:2091–2112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Potti J (2007) Variation in the hematocrit of a passerine bird across life stages is mainly of environmental origin. J Avian Biol 38:726–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Potti J, Moreno J, Merino S, Frias O, Rodriguez R (1999) Environmental and genetic variation in the haematocrit of fledgling pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. Oecologia 120:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Price T (2007) Speciation in birds, 1st edn. Roberts, GreenwoodGoogle Scholar
  46. Robb GN, McDonald RA, Chamberlain DE, Reynolds SJ, Harrison TJE, Bearhop S (2008) Winter feeding of birds increases productivity in the subsequent breeding season. Biol Lett 4:220–223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Royle JA, Rubenstein DR (2004) The role of species abundance in determining breeding origins of migratory birds with stable isotopes. Ecol Appl 14:1780–1788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Saino N, Szep T, Ambrosini R, Romano M, Moller AP (2004) Ecological conditions during winter affect sexual selection and breeding in a migratory bird. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 271:681–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sandberg R, Moore FR (1996) Fat stores and arrival on the breeding grounds: reproductive consequences for passerine migrants. Oikos 77:577–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shirihai H, Gargallo G, Helbig AJ (2001) Sylvia warblers. Identification, taxonomy and phylogeography of the genus Sylvia. In: Kirwan G, Svensson L (eds) Black, LondonGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith RJ, Moore FR (2005) Fat stores of American redstarts Setophaga ruticilla arriving at northerly breeding grounds. J Avian Biol 36:117–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Svensson E, Merila J (1996) Molt and migratory condition in blue tits: a serological study. Condor 98:825–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. R Development Core Team (2009) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  54. Terrill SB, Berthold P (1990) Ecophysiological aspects of rapid population-growth in a novel migratory blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) population—an experimental approach. Oecologia 85:266–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wassenaar LI, Hobson KA (2003) Comparative equilibration and online technique for determination of non-exchangeable hydrogen of keratins for use in animal migration studies. Isotopes Environ Health Stud 39:211–217CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Wunder MB, Kester CL, Knopf FL, Rye RO (2005) A test of geographic assignment using isotope tracers in feathers of known origin. Oecologia 144:607–617CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregor Rolshausen
    • 1
  • Keith A. Hobson
    • 2
  • H. Martin Schaefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary Biology and Animal Ecology, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Environment CanadaSaskatoonCanada

Personalised recommendations