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When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event
Senner, N.R.; Verhoeven, M.A.; Abad-Gómez, J.; Gutiérrez, J.S.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Kentie, R.; Masero, J.A.; Tibbitts, T.L; Piersma, T. (2015). When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event. J. Anim. Ecol. 84: 1164-1176.
In: Journal of Animal Ecology. Blackwell Science/British Ecological Society: Oxford. ISSN 0021-8790, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    behavioural flexibility; carry-over effects; migration; source availability; stress response

Authors  Top 
  • Senner, N.R.
  • Verhoeven, M.A.
  • Abad-Gómez, J.
  • Gutiérrez, J.S., more
  • Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.
  • Kentie, R., more
  • Masero, J.A.
  • Tibbitts, T.L
  • Piersma, T., more

    1. Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic,making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict therepercussions of similar events in the future.2. To improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which short-term events can incur long-term consequences, we documented the behavioural responses and fitness consequences for a long-distance migratory bird, the continental black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa, resulting from a spring snowstorm and three-week period of record low temperatures.3. The event caused measurable responses at three spatial scales – continental, regional and local – including migratory delays (+19 days), reverse migrations (>90 km), elevated metaboliccosts (+8?8% maintenance metabolic rate) and increased foraging rates (+37%).4. There were few long-term fitness consequences, however, and subsequent breeding seasons instead witnessed high levels of reproductive success and little evidence of carry-over effects.5. This suggests that populations with continued access to food, behavioural flexibility and time to dissipate the costs of the event can likely withstand the consequences of an extreme weather event. For populations constrained in one of these respects, though, extreme events may entail extreme ecological consequences.

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