Linking the wintering and breeding grounds of warblers along the Pacific Flyway

David P.L. Toews, Julian Heavyside, Darren E. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Long-distance migration is a behavior that is exhibited by many animal groups. The evolution of novel migration routes can play an important role in range expansions, ecological interactions, and speciation. New migration routes may evolve in response to selection in favor of reducing distance between breeding and wintering areas, or avoiding navigational barriers. Many migratory changes are likely to evolve gradually and are therefore difficult to study. Here, we attempt to connect breeding and wintering populations of myrtle warblers (Setophaga coronata coronata) to better understand the possible evolution of distinct migration routes within this species. Myrtle warblers, unlike most other warblers with breeding ranges primarily in eastern North America, have two disjunct overwintering concentrations—one in the southeastern USA and one along the Pacific Coast—and presumably distinct routes to-and-from these locations. We studied both myrtle and Audubon's warblers (S. c. auduboni) captured during their spring migration along the Pacific Coast, south of the narrow region where these two taxa hybridize. Using stable hydrogen isotopes and biometric data, we show that those myrtle warblers wintering along the southern Pacific Coast of North America are likely to breed at high latitudes in Alaska and the Yukon rather than in Alberta or further east. Our interpretation is that the evolution of this wintering range and migration route along the Pacific Coast may have facilitated the breeding expansion of myrtle warblers into northwestern North America. Moreover, these data suggest that there may be a migratory divide within genetically similar populations of myrtle warblers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6649-6658
Number of pages10
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Myrtus communis
migration route
breeding site
breeding sites
breeding
coast
coasts
biometry
hydrogen isotope
range expansion
overwintering
Setophaga
Yukon Territory
stable isotope
Alberta
East Asia
hydrogen
wintering grounds
animal
isotopes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Toews, David P.L. ; Heavyside, Julian ; Irwin, Darren E. / Linking the wintering and breeding grounds of warblers along the Pacific Flyway. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2017 ; Vol. 7, No. 17. pp. 6649-6658.
@article{fd1ee26069e0435d8a1607d6f6d96b76,
title = "Linking the wintering and breeding grounds of warblers along the Pacific Flyway",
abstract = "Long-distance migration is a behavior that is exhibited by many animal groups. The evolution of novel migration routes can play an important role in range expansions, ecological interactions, and speciation. New migration routes may evolve in response to selection in favor of reducing distance between breeding and wintering areas, or avoiding navigational barriers. Many migratory changes are likely to evolve gradually and are therefore difficult to study. Here, we attempt to connect breeding and wintering populations of myrtle warblers (Setophaga coronata coronata) to better understand the possible evolution of distinct migration routes within this species. Myrtle warblers, unlike most other warblers with breeding ranges primarily in eastern North America, have two disjunct overwintering concentrations—one in the southeastern USA and one along the Pacific Coast—and presumably distinct routes to-and-from these locations. We studied both myrtle and Audubon's warblers (S. c. auduboni) captured during their spring migration along the Pacific Coast, south of the narrow region where these two taxa hybridize. Using stable hydrogen isotopes and biometric data, we show that those myrtle warblers wintering along the southern Pacific Coast of North America are likely to breed at high latitudes in Alaska and the Yukon rather than in Alberta or further east. Our interpretation is that the evolution of this wintering range and migration route along the Pacific Coast may have facilitated the breeding expansion of myrtle warblers into northwestern North America. Moreover, these data suggest that there may be a migratory divide within genetically similar populations of myrtle warblers.",
author = "Toews, {David P.L.} and Julian Heavyside and Irwin, {Darren E.}",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1002/ece3.3222",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "6649--6658",
journal = "Ecology and Evolution",
issn = "2045-7758",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "17",

}

Linking the wintering and breeding grounds of warblers along the Pacific Flyway. / Toews, David P.L.; Heavyside, Julian; Irwin, Darren E.

In: Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 7, No. 17, 09.2017, p. 6649-6658.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Linking the wintering and breeding grounds of warblers along the Pacific Flyway

AU - Toews, David P.L.

AU - Heavyside, Julian

AU - Irwin, Darren E.

PY - 2017/9

Y1 - 2017/9

N2 - Long-distance migration is a behavior that is exhibited by many animal groups. The evolution of novel migration routes can play an important role in range expansions, ecological interactions, and speciation. New migration routes may evolve in response to selection in favor of reducing distance between breeding and wintering areas, or avoiding navigational barriers. Many migratory changes are likely to evolve gradually and are therefore difficult to study. Here, we attempt to connect breeding and wintering populations of myrtle warblers (Setophaga coronata coronata) to better understand the possible evolution of distinct migration routes within this species. Myrtle warblers, unlike most other warblers with breeding ranges primarily in eastern North America, have two disjunct overwintering concentrations—one in the southeastern USA and one along the Pacific Coast—and presumably distinct routes to-and-from these locations. We studied both myrtle and Audubon's warblers (S. c. auduboni) captured during their spring migration along the Pacific Coast, south of the narrow region where these two taxa hybridize. Using stable hydrogen isotopes and biometric data, we show that those myrtle warblers wintering along the southern Pacific Coast of North America are likely to breed at high latitudes in Alaska and the Yukon rather than in Alberta or further east. Our interpretation is that the evolution of this wintering range and migration route along the Pacific Coast may have facilitated the breeding expansion of myrtle warblers into northwestern North America. Moreover, these data suggest that there may be a migratory divide within genetically similar populations of myrtle warblers.

AB - Long-distance migration is a behavior that is exhibited by many animal groups. The evolution of novel migration routes can play an important role in range expansions, ecological interactions, and speciation. New migration routes may evolve in response to selection in favor of reducing distance between breeding and wintering areas, or avoiding navigational barriers. Many migratory changes are likely to evolve gradually and are therefore difficult to study. Here, we attempt to connect breeding and wintering populations of myrtle warblers (Setophaga coronata coronata) to better understand the possible evolution of distinct migration routes within this species. Myrtle warblers, unlike most other warblers with breeding ranges primarily in eastern North America, have two disjunct overwintering concentrations—one in the southeastern USA and one along the Pacific Coast—and presumably distinct routes to-and-from these locations. We studied both myrtle and Audubon's warblers (S. c. auduboni) captured during their spring migration along the Pacific Coast, south of the narrow region where these two taxa hybridize. Using stable hydrogen isotopes and biometric data, we show that those myrtle warblers wintering along the southern Pacific Coast of North America are likely to breed at high latitudes in Alaska and the Yukon rather than in Alberta or further east. Our interpretation is that the evolution of this wintering range and migration route along the Pacific Coast may have facilitated the breeding expansion of myrtle warblers into northwestern North America. Moreover, these data suggest that there may be a migratory divide within genetically similar populations of myrtle warblers.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028744130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85028744130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/ece3.3222

DO - 10.1002/ece3.3222

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85028744130

VL - 7

SP - 6649

EP - 6658

JO - Ecology and Evolution

JF - Ecology and Evolution

SN - 2045-7758

IS - 17

ER -