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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 8;8(4):e59110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059110. Print 2013.

Multiple weather factors affect apparent survival of European passerine birds.

Author information

1
Department of Migration and Immuno-ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany. volker.salewski@biologie.uni-osnabrueck.de

Abstract

Weather affects the demography of animals and thus climate change will cause local changes in demographic rates. In birds numerous studies have correlated demographic factors with weather but few of those examined variation in the impacts of weather in different seasons and, in the case of migrants, in different regions. Using capture-recapture models we correlated weather with apparent survival of seven passerine bird species with different migration strategies to assess the importance of selected facets of weather throughout the year on apparent survival. Contrary to our expectations weather experienced during the breeding season did not affect apparent survival of the target species. However, measures for winter severity were associated with apparent survival of a resident species, two short-distance/partial migrants and a long-distance migrant. Apparent survival of two short distance migrants as well as two long-distance migrants was further correlated with conditions experienced during the non-breeding season in Spain. Conditions in Africa had statistically significant but relatively minor effects on the apparent survival of the two long-distance migrants but also of a presumably short-distance migrant and a short-distance/partial migrant. In general several weather effects independently explained similar amounts of variation in apparent survival for the majority of species and single factors explained only relatively low amounts of temporal variation of apparent survival. Although the directions of the effects on apparent survival mostly met our expectations and there are clear predictions for effects of future climate we caution against simple extrapolations of present conditions to predict future population dynamics. Not only did weather explains limited amounts of variation in apparent survival, but future demographics will likely be affected by changing interspecific interactions, opposing effects of weather in different seasons, and the potential for phenotypic and microevolutionary adaptations.

PMID:
23593131
PMCID:
PMC3620169
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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