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  • 1. Gudmundsson, G A
    et al.
    Alerstam, T
    Why is there no transpolar bird migration?1998In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 93-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tracking radar studies mere carried out during the summer 1996 in the central polar basin (85-90 degrees N) to investigate if birds accomplish transpolar migration. We here report the absence of bird migration from this region, in glaring contrast to the situation in more peripheral parts of the Arctic Ocean. Two possible explanations for the absence of regular intercontinental bird migration across the region around the North Pole are considered: (i) transpolar migration is of little evolutionary advantage, and (ii) orientation difficulties prevent migration at the pole.

  • 2.
    Hedlund, Johanna S. U.
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Sjösten, Frida
    Sokolovskis, Kristaps
    Jakobsson, Sven
    Stockholms universitet, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Point of no return – absence of returning birds in the otherwise philopatric willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus2017In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The return of individual birds to a specific area in successional years, i.e. philopatry, is a remarkable behavioural trait. Here we report on the remarkably reversed: the complete absence of returning individuals of a migratory passerine with otherwise pronounced philopatry. At a high latitude study site in Abisko (68°32ʹN, 18°80ʹE) in northern Sweden none of the banded adult willow warblers Phylloscopus trochilus returned to breed 2011–2014. This is in stark contrast to all other reports in the literature and also to our two southern study sites (at 56°56ʹN, 18°10ʹE and at 58°94ʹN, 17°14ʹE) where 18–38% of adults returned. We investigated this aberrant pattern found in Abisko by analysing three parameters known to influence philopatry; nest predation, breeding success and breeding density, and predicted that absence of philopatry should co-occur with low breeding success, low breeding density and/or high nest predation. The results did not corroborate this, except that breeding density was lower at Abisko (49–71 pairs km–2) than at the southern sites (106 pairs km–2, 101 pairs km–2). Instead, we suggest the hypothesis that the absence of philopatry is caused by an influx of southern, dispersal-prone individuals deploying another breeding strategy and that this intra-specific range expansion is enabled by milder climate and low population density.

  • 3. Lehikoinen, Aleksi
    et al.
    Green, Martin
    Husby, Magne
    Kålås, John Atle
    Lindström, Åke
    Common montane birds are declining in northern Europe2014In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 45, no 1, p. 3-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Large-scale multi-species data on population changes of alpine or arctic species are largely lacking. At the same time, climate change has been argued to cause poleward and uphill range shifts and the concomitant predicted loss of habitat may have drastic effects on alpine and arctic species. Here we present a multi-national bird indicator for the Fennoscandian mountain range in northern Europe (Finland, Sweden and Norway), based on 14 common species of montane tundra and subalpine birch forest. The data were collected at 262 alpine survey plots, mainly as a part of geographically representative national breeding bird monitoring schemes. The area sampled covers around 1/4 million km2, spanning 10 degrees of latitude and 1600 km in a northeast–southwest direction. During 2002–2012, nine of the 14 bird species declined significantly in numbers, in parallel to higher summer temperatures and precipitation during this period compared to the preceding 40 yr. The population trends were largely parallel in the three countries and similar among montane tundra and subalpine birch forest species. Long-distance migrants declined less on average than residents and short-distance migrants. Some potential causes of the current decline of alpine birds are discussed, but since montane bird population sizes may show strong natural annual variation due to several factors, longer time series are needed to verify the observed population trends. The present Fennoscandian monitoring systems, which from 2010 onwards include more than 400 montane survey plots, have the capacity to deliver a robust bird indicator in the climate-sensitive mountainous regions of northernmost Europe for conservation purposes.

  • 4.
    Wennerberg, Liv
    et al.
    Buskerud fylkeskommune, N-3020 Fylkeshuset, Drammen, Norway..
    Marthinsen, Gunnhild
    Univ Oslo, Natl Ctr Biosystemat, Nat Hist Museum, N-0318 Oslo, Norway..
    Lifjeld, Jan T.
    Univ Oslo, Natl Ctr Biosystemat, Nat Hist Museum, N-0318 Oslo, Norway..
    Conservation genetics and phylogeography of southern dunlins Calidris alpina schinzii2008In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 39, no 4, p. 423-437Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Breeding populations of southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii in South Fennoscandia and the Baltic are severely fragmented and declining dramatically. Information on the genetic structure and diversity is therefore of importance for the conservation and management of these populations. Here we present the results of comparative genetic analyses of these populations with other populations of the schinzii, alpina and arctica subspecies in northern Europe. We sequenced the mitochondrial DNA control region and the Z-chromosome intron VLDLR-9, and analyzed microsatellites and AFLPs, for analyses of within-population genetic diversity. We also extended previous analyses of the phylogeographic structure of dunlins in northern Europe with a larger sample of individuals and populations. Our results revealed no evidence of reduced genetic diversity or increased levels of inbreeding in the small and fragmented populations around the Baltic Sea as compared to the more vital and larger populations elsewhere. Nevertheless, their small population sizes and presumably high degree of isolation may lead to local extinctions, indicating that demographic and ecological factors may pose a greater threat to the survival of these populations than purely genetic factors. Phylogeographically, the schinzii populations in Scandinavia and the Baltic do not form a separate genetic clade, but are part of larger cline of genetic variation encompassing several recognized subspecies of dunlins in the western Palearctic region. Only the Icelandic population showed some distinctiveness in genetic structure and might therefore be considered a separate management unit. Our study highlights the general problem of lack of genetic support for subspecies in avian taxonomy and conservation genetics.

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