Published December 3, 2021 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Age-dependent timing and routes demonstrate developmental plasticity in a long-distance migratory bird

  • 1. University of Groningen
  • 2. University of Groningen & University of South Carolina*
  • 3. University of Groningen & NIOZ*

Description

1. Longitudinal tracking studies have revealed consistent differences in the migration patterns of individuals from the same populations. The sources or processes causing this individual variation are largely unresolved. As a result, it is mostly unknown how much, how fast, and when animals can adjust their migrations to changing environments. 2. We studied the ontogeny of migration in a long-distance migratory shorebird, the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa limosa), a species known to exhibit marked individuality in the migratory routines of adults. By observing how and when these individual differences arise, we aimed to elucidate whether individual differences in migratory behaviour are inherited or emerge as a result of developmental plasticity. 3. We simultaneously tracked juvenile and adult godwits from the same breeding area on their south- and northward migrations. To determine how and when individual differences begin to arise, we related juvenile migration routes, timing, and mortality rates to hatch date and year of birth. Then, we compared adult and juvenile migration patterns to identify potential age-dependent differences. 4. In juveniles, the timing of their first southward departure was related to hatch date. However, their subsequent migration routes, orientation, destination, migratory duration, and likelihood of mortality were unrelated to the year or timing of migration, or their sex. Juveniles left the Netherlands after all tracked adults. They then flew non-stop to West Africa more often and incurred higher mortality rates than adults. Some juveniles also took routes and visited stopover sites far outside the well-documented adult migratory corridor. Such juveniles, however, were not more likely to die. 5. We found that juveniles exhibited different migratory patterns than adults, but no evidence that these behaviours are under natural selection. We thus eliminate the possibility that the individual differences observed among adult godwits are present at birth or during their first migration. This adds to the mounting evidence that animals possess the developmental plasticity to change their migration later in life in response to environmental conditions as those conditions are experienced.

Notes

All files are numbered, a new number for each analysis/topic. Related files are given the same number but a different letter, i.e. files 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d are related to each other.  

1.Juvenile timing with individual info_forR
This file includes the timing information of juvenile godwits on southward and northward migration. In case the juvenile did not make it back to The Netherlands there is no return date which is denoted by NA in column N.It also contains individual information, such as the sex of the individual (1=female, 2=male).

2.Adult and juvenile timing_forR
This file contains the timing of every latitudinal crossing (see Methods) for both adults and juveniles (column C) on southward and northward migration. It also contains individual information, such as the sex of the individual (1=female, 2=male).

3a.Juvenile_Autumn_Track
This file contains the points collected by the tracking devices carried by juveniles during autumn migration.

3b.Juvenile_Spring_Track
This file contains the points collected by the tracking devices carried by juveniles during spring migration.

3c.Adult_Autumn_Track
This file contains the points collected by the tracking devices carried by adults during autumn migration.

3d.Adult_Spring_Track
This file contains the points collected by the tracking devices carried by adults during spring migration.

4a.Juvenile_Longitudinal Intersection_Autumn
This file contains the longitude when crossing latitudinal boundaries (see Methods) of juveniles on autumn migration.

4b.Juvenile_Longitudinal Intersection_Spring
This file contains the longitude when crossing latitudinal boundaries (see Methods) of juveniles on spring migration.

4c.Adult and juvenile_Longitudinal Intersections
This file contains the longitude when crossing latitudinal boundaries (see Methods) for both adults and juveniles on southward and northward migration.

5a.Juvenile_Autumn_Longitudinal Displacement
This file contains the longitude at subsequent latitudinal boundaries of juveniles on autumn migration, which is necessary to calculate the longitudinal displacement between latitudinal boundaries.

5b.Juvenile_Spring_Longitudinal Displacement
This file contains the longitude at subsequent latitudinal boundaries of juveniles on spring migration, which is necessary to calculate the longitudinal displacement between latitudinal boundaries.

5c.Adult and juvenile_Longitudinal Displacement_Autumn
This file contains the longitudinal displacement between latitudinal boundaries (see Methods) for both adults and juveniles on southward migration.

5d.Adult and juvenile_Longitudinal Displacement_Spring
This file contains the longitudinal displacement between latitudinal boundaries (see Methods) for both adults and juveniles on northward migration.

6a.Juvenile_nonstop
This file contains all juveniles that crossed the Sahara and has information on whether they flew their non-stop or not. It also contains a column that specifies whether the juvenile died on southward migration and whether it returned to The Netherlands or not.

6b.JuvenilevsAdult_nonstop
This file summarizes how many juveniles and how many adults that crossed the Sahara did so with a non-stop flight or not.

7a.Juvenile_sahara cross and mortality
This file contains all juveniles and has information on whether they crossed the Sahara or not. It also contains a column that specifies whether the juvenile died on southward migration and whether it returned to The Netherlands or not.

7b.JuvenilevsAdult_Sahara cross or not
This file summarizes how many juveniles and how many adults crossed the Sahara.

8a.JuvenilevsAdult_Mortality_Autumn
This file summarizes how many juveniles and how many adults died on southward migration.

8b.JuvenilevsAdult_Mortality_Spring
This file summarizes how many juveniles and how many adults died on northward migration.

Funding provided by: Anonymous donor*
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Funding provided by: BirdLife-Netherlands*
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Funding provided by: Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds*
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Funding provided by: Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Safety*
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Funding provided by: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100003246
Award Number: Shorebirds in space

Funding provided by: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100003246
Award Number: Spinoza Premium 2014

Funding provided by: Paul and Louise Cook Endowment Ltd.*
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Funding provided by: Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds*
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Funding provided by: Province of Fryslân*
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Funding provided by: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001721
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Funding provided by: Ubbo Emmius Fund*
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Funding provided by: Van der Hucht de Beukelaar Stichting*
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Funding provided by: WWF-Netherlands*
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1.Juvenile_timing_with_individual_info_forR.csv

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