Large birds travel farther in homogeneous environments

Tucker, Marlee A., Alexandrou, Olga, Bierregaard, Richard O., Bildstein, Keith L., Böehning-Gaese, Katrin, Bracis, Chloe, Brzorad, John N., Buechley, Evan R., Cabot, David, Calabrese, Justin M., Carrapato, Carlos, Chiaradia, Andre, Davenport, Lisa C., Davidson, Sarah C., Desholm, Mark, DeSorbo, Christopher R., Domenech, Robert, Enggist, Peter, Fagan, William F., Farwig, Nina, Fiedler, Wolfgang, Fleming, Christen H., Franke, Alastair, Fryxell, John M., García-Ripollés, Clara, Grémillet, David, Griffin, Larry R., Harel, Roi, Kane, Adam, Kays, Roland, Kleyheeg, Erik, Lacy, Anne E., LaPoint, Scott, Limiñana, Rubén, López-López, Pascual, Maccarone, Alan D., Mellone, Ugo, Mojica, Elizabeth K., Nathan, Ran, Newman, Scott H., Noonan, Michael J., Oppel, Steffen, Prostor, Mark, Rees, Eileen C., Ropert-Coudert, Yan, Rösner, Sascha, Sapir, Nir, Schabo, Dana, Schmidt, Matthias, Schulz, Holger, Shariati, Mitra, Shreading, Adam, Silva, João Paulo, Skov, Henrik, Spiegel, Orr, Takekawa, John Y., Teitelbaum, Claire S., van Toor, Mariëlle L., Urios, Vicente, Vidal-Mateo, Javier, Wang, Qiang, Watts, Bryan D., Wikelski, Martin, Wolter, Kerri, Žydelis, Ramūnas, and Mueller, Thomas (2019) Large birds travel farther in homogeneous environments. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28 (5). pp. 576-587.

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Aim: Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. Nonetheless, it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside the migratory period, we examined how the distribution of resources affects the movement patterns of both large terrestrial birds (e.g., raptors, bustards and hornbills) and waterbirds (e.g., cranes, storks, ducks, geese and flamingos).

Location: Global.

Time period: 2003-2015.

Major taxa studied: Birds.

Methods: We compiled GPS tracking data for 386 individuals across 36 bird species. We calculated the straight-line distance between GPS locations of each individual at the 1-hr and 10-day time-scales. For each individual and time-scale, we calculated the median and 0.95 quantile of displacement. We used linear mixed-effects models to examine the effect of the spatial arrangement of resources, measured as enhanced vegetation index homogeneity, on avian movements, while accounting for mean resource availability, body mass, diet, flight type, migratory status and taxonomy and spatial autocorrelation.

Results: We found a significant effect of resource spatial arrangement at the 1-hr and 10-day time-scales. On average, individual movements were seven times longer in environments with homogeneously distributed resources compared with areas of low resource homogeneity. Contrary to previous work, we found no significant effect of resource availability, diet, flight type, migratory status or body mass on the non-migratory movements of birds.

Main conclusions: We suggest that longer movements in homogeneous environments might reflect the need for different habitat types associated with foraging and reproduction. This highlights the importance of landscape complementarity, where habitat patches within a landscape include a range of different, yet complementary resources. As habitat homogenization increases, it might force birds to travel increasingly longer distances to meet their diverse needs.

Item ID: 59990
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-8238
Keywords: enhanced vegetation index, landscape complementation, movement ecology, productivity, spatial behaviour, terrestrial birds, waterbirds
Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: Robert Bosch Foundation, Goethe International Postdoctoral Programme, People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework (PPEUSS), ‘Juan de la Cierva—Incorporación’ postdoctoral grant, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MECD), 3M Gives, Cowrie Ltd, U.K.,, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Irish Research Council (IRC), MAVA Foundation, Green Fund of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Minerva Center for Movement Ecology, NASA, NSF Division of Biological Infrastructure (NSF), German Aerospace Center (GAC), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NOSR), Penguin Foundation, Australian Research Council, Solway Coast AONB Sustainable Development Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, BBC, National Trust for Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, DECC, U.K. Department for Energy and Climate Change, National Key R&D Program of China (NKRDPC), The Bailey Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Biodiversity Research Institute, Bluestone Foundation and The U.S. Department of Energy (BF USDE), The Center for Conservation Biology, ArcticNet, Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Canadian Circumpolar Institute, The MPG Ranch and Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal
Projects and Grants: PPEUSS Programme FP7/2007‐2013/ under REA grant agreement no [291776], MECD IJCI‐2014‐19190, IRC GOIPD/2015/81, NASA Award NNX15AV92A, NSF Award 1564380, GAC Award 50JR1601, NOSR grant number VIDI 864.10.006, NSF Award ABI‐1458748, NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) (#NNX15AV92A), NKRDPC 2016YFC0500406, BF USDE DE‐EE0005362, FCT SFRH/ BPD/118635/2016
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 07:47
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
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