Use of stable isotope fingerprints to assign wintering originand trace shorebird movements along the East AtlanticFlyway

Abstract : 2015AbstractMigratory connectivity can be defined as the flux of individuals or populations among areas between stages of an animal’s lifecycle. Many shorebird species perform long-distance migrations and while moving between breeding and wintering grounds,they depend on a network of intermediate wetlands (stopover sites) where populations of different origins extensively overlap.The difficulty to discriminate such populations represents a serious obstacle to the identification of the links between breedingor wintering areas and stopover sites, and also precludes the estimation of demographic parameters for each population. In thisstudy, we test if linear discriminant models based on stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in toenails can be used to identifypopulations of several shorebird species of different wintering origins overlapping at two stopover sites of the East AtlanticFlyway. In addition, we evaluate the ability of this approach to infer migratory phenological patterns of shorebirds. Lineardiscriminant analyses performed overall well in distinguishing the isotopic signals of birds from wintering areas (in France,Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau) in most species, correctly classifying over 80% (n = 542) of all wintering individuals sampled at these areas. Assignment rates of shorebirds captured during spring migration were also high (96%,n = 323) at the Tejo estuary, Portugal, but lower (40%, n = 185) at Marennes-Oléron Bay in France, and also differed amongspecies. A large proportion of spring migrants captured in Portugal and France were assigned to Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania,the most important wintering area in the flyway. Phenological patterns derived for dunlins (Calidris alpina), common ringedplovers (Charadrius hiaticula) and grey plovers (Pluvialis squatarola) suggest that the first northward migrants started arrivingat the Tejo estuary during the second half of March, with peaking numbers occurring during April or May.
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Teresa Catry, Pedro Lourenço, Ricardo Lopes, Pierrick Bocher, Camilo Carneiro, et al.. Use of stable isotope fingerprints to assign wintering originand trace shorebird movements along the East AtlanticFlyway. Basic and Applied Ecology, Elsevier, 2016, 17 (2), ⟨http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.10.005⟩. ⟨10.1016/j.baae.2015.10.005⟩. ⟨hal-01460634⟩

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