lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

New Publication !

Sergio, F., Taferna A., De Stephanis, R., López Jiménez, L., Blas, J., Tavecchia, G., Preatoni, D., and Hiraldo, F., 2014: 'Individual improvements and selective mortality shape lifelong migratory performance'. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13696

Billions of organisms, from bacteria to humans, migrate each year and research on their migration biology is expanding rapidly through ever more sophisticated remote sensing technologies. However, little is known about how migratory performance develops through life for any organism. To date, age variation has been almost systematically simplified into . These comparisons have regularly highlighted better migratory performance by adults compared with juveniles, but it is unknown whether such variation is gradual or abrupt and whether it is driven by improvements within the individual, by selective mortality of poor performers, or both.
Here we exploit the opportunity offered by long-term monitoring of individuals through Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite tracking to combine within-individual and cross-sectional data on 364 migration episodes from 92 individuals of a raptorial bird, aged 1–27 years old. We show that the development of migratory behaviour follows a consistent trajectory, more gradual and prolonged than previously appreciated, and that this is promoted by both individual improvements and selective mortality, mainly operating in early life and during the pre-breeding migration. Individuals of different age used different travelling tactics and varied in their ability to exploit tailwinds or to cope with wind drift. All individuals seemed aligned along a race with their contemporary peers, whose outcome was largely determined by the ability to depart early, affecting their subsequent recruitment, reproduction and survival. Understanding how climate change and human action can affect the migration of younger animals may be the key to managing and forecasting the declines of many threatened migrants.

See also at IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) and IMEDEA Divulga here 

martes, 23 de septiembre de 2014

GEP at the radio !

At "Balears Fa Ciencia" a new monologue by Ana on Synchony here (at min. 46) and a new comment by Alejandro on our origin here (at min. 11).

jueves, 18 de septiembre de 2014

New Publication

Sergio,F., Schmitz, O. J., Krebs, C.J., Holt, R.D., Heithaus, M. R., Wirsing, A. J., Ripple, W. J., Ritchie, E., Ainley, D., Oro, D., Jhala, Y.,Hiraldo, F. and Korpimmäki, E. 2014 .Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective Oikos, DOI: 10.1111/oik.01468

Research on the ecology of top predators – upper trophic level consumers that are relatively free from predation once they reach adult size – has provided regular contributions to general ecology and is a rapidly expanding and increasingly experimental, multidisciplinary and technological endeavour. Yet, an exponentially expanding literature coupled with rapid disintegration into specialized, disconnected subfields for study (e.g. vertebrate predators versus invertebrate predators, community ecology versus biological control etc.) increasingly means that we are losing a coherent, integrated understating of the role and importance of these species in ecosystems. This process of canalization is likely to hinder sharing of scientific discovery and continued progress, especially as there is a growing need to understand the generality of the top–down forcing, as demonstrated for some members of this group. Here, we propose ways to facilitate synthesis by promoting changes in mentality and awareness among specialists through increased debate and collaboration, conceptual reviews and a series of exemplary case studies. The strategy will rely on the collective contribution by all scientists in the field and will strive to consolidate and formalise top-order predation as a holistic, cohesive, cross-taxonomical field of research studying the ecology, evolution and behaviour of apex predators and their capability to exert top–down forcing on lower trophic levels. (Photo: F. Sergio)

sábado, 13 de septiembre de 2014

Caught on camera !!!!

A Scopoli's shearwater, marked by the GEP with a Geolocator, caught on camera by Maties Rebassa. Well done Maties !! 

To send more pics :
To know more about Scopoli´s shearwater and data-loggers read here

jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2014

New at the Population Ecology Group (GEP)

Giulia Bastianelli, student at the Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Biodiversidad (UO/CSIC/PA), joined the GEP for three months. Giulia is working on the influence of the altitudinal gradient on the demography of passerines.

lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2014