Breeding phenology determines evolutionary transitions in migratory behaviour in finches and allies

Jácint Tökölyi, Z. Barta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The breeding season of long-distance migratory birds often starts later and is shorter than in resident or short-distance species breeding at the same latitude, but the reason for this is unclear. Here we investigate the association between migration distance and breeding phenology in a group of passerine birds, the finches and their allies, using phylogenetic comparative methods. We confirm that migration distance is related to aspects of the species' breeding phenology after controlling for the effect of potentially confounding variables. Directional phylogenetic analyses suggest that evolutionary transitions in migration distance are determined by the breeding phenology. A relatively long migration distance is more likely to evolve in birds with a late, short breeding season, whereas transitions to short distance migration are more likely to occur in lineages with an early, long breeding season. These results suggest that migration distance is constrained by breeding phenology and not vice versa. Thus, breeding phenology may be an important ultimate factor shaping the evolution of migratory strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalOikos
Volume120
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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migratory behavior
phenology
breeding
breeding season
bird
phylogenetics
birds
phylogeny
passerine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Breeding phenology determines evolutionary transitions in migratory behaviour in finches and allies. / Tökölyi, Jácint; Barta, Z.

In: Oikos, Vol. 120, No. 2, 02.2011, p. 184-193.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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