, Volume 100, Issue 8, pp 729–738 | Cite as

Bird species migration ratio in East Asia, Australia, and surrounding islands

  • Yiliang Kuo
  • Da-Li Lin
  • Fu-Man Chuang
  • Pei-Fen Lee
  • Tzung-Su DingEmail author
Original Paper


Bird migration and its relationship with the contemporary environment have attracted long-term discussion. We calculated the avian migration ratio (the proportion of breeding species that migrate) in the areas from 70°E to 180°E and examined its relationship with the annual ranges of ambient temperature, primary productivity (estimated by the Enhanced Vegetation Index), and precipitation, along with island isolation and elevational range. The avian migration ratio increased with increasing latitude in general but varied greatly between the two hemispheres. Additionally, it showed minimal differences between continents and islands. Our analyses revealed that the seasonality of ambient temperature, which represents the energy expenditure of birds, is the dominant factor in determining bird species migration. Seasonality in primary productivity and other environmental factors play an indirect or limited role in bird species migration. The lower avian migration ratio in the Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to its paleogeographical isolation, stable paleoclimate, and warm contemporary environment. Under current trends of global warming, our findings should lead to further studies of the impact of warming on bird migration.


Bird migration percentage Environmental seasonality Global climate change Latitudinal gradient Long-distance migration Macroecology 



We thank Hsiao-Wei Yuan, Cheng-Han Tsai, and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on this study. This study was supported by the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 97-2621-B-002-010-MY3 to TSD) and the National Taiwan University grant (97R0069-01 to TSD).

Supplementary material

114_2013_1069_MOESM1_ESM.docx (214 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 214 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiliang Kuo
    • 1
  • Da-Li Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fu-Man Chuang
    • 1
  • Pei-Fen Lee
    • 3
  • Tzung-Su Ding
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Forestry and Resource ConservationNational Taiwan UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Endemic Species Research InstituteJijiTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Life ScienceNational Taiwan UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan

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