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Open Life Sciences

formerly Central European Journal of Biology

Editor-in-Chief: Ratajczak, Mariusz

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Changes in migration phenology and biometrical traits of Reed, Marsh and Sedge Warblers

1„Adaptation to climate change” Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences-Corvinus University of Budapest, HU-1118, Budapest, Hungary

2Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Department of Biomathematics and Informatics, Szent István University, HU-1078, Budapest, Hungary

3Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Clinic for Large Animals, Szent István University, HU-2225, Üllő, Hungary

4Department of Anatomy, Cell- and Developmental Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, HU-1117, Budapest, Hungary

© 2011 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Open Life Sciences. Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 115–125, ISSN (Online) 2391-5412, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-011-0101-1, December 2011

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Global environmental processes like climate change could severely affect population level migratory behaviour of long range migrant birds. We analyzed changes in migration phenology and biometrics of three closely-related long-distance migrant Acrocephalus species. We used the records of 12 063 Sedge, 12 913 Reed, and 5 409 Marsh Warblers caught and ringed between 1989–2009, at a Hungarian stopover site. Quantile regressions were used to analyse the changes in spring and autumn migration phenology. Median spring arrival date of Sedge and Reed Warblers shifted 6.5 and 7.5 days earlier, respectively. Autumn arrival of all species shifted one (Reed and Marsh Warblers) or two (Sedge Warbler) weeks later. Mean body mass of adult Reed and Marsh Warblers decreased in spring (by 0.3 and 0.2 grams, respectively) and in autumn (by 0.8 and 0.2 grams, respectively) while body mass of adult Sedge Warblers decreased only in autumn (by 0.4 grams). Mean wing length of all species increased significantly (range of change: 0.6–1 mm). Despite the fact that the studied species are closely related, all three have remarkably different migration strategies. However, similar patterns can be observed in the studied parameters, indicating that global processes may have general effects on these species, albeit through markedly different mechanisms.

Keywords: Acrocephalus; Climate change; Timing of migration; Wing length; Body mass; Phenology

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