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Climate patterns and the stochastic dynamics of migratory birds

  • Niclas Jonzén
  • Anders Hedenström
  • Christian Hjort
  • Åke Lindström
  • Per Lundberg
  • A Andersson
Publishing year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 329-336
Publication/Series: Oikos
Volume: 97
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

We analyse time series data of 17 bird species trapped at Ottenby Bird Observatory, Sweden, during spring migration 1972-1999. The species have similar demography but respond differently to variation in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) - a strong determinant of winter climate in the northern Hemisphere. Species wintering in northern Europe, compared to species having winter quarters in the Mediterranean area, tend to respond positively to variation in NAO. The variation within each group is high due to wide-ranging winter-distribution in many species, probably smoothing out the effect of spatial variation in NAO. Whereas mild winters (high NAO) are benign for many - but not all - birds wintering in northern Europe, the effect of drier-than-normal conditions in the Mediterranean area during high NAO index winters is uncertain. The work presented here goes beyond simple correlative studies and help identifying which species that are most affected by variation in winter climate. This is a first important step that calls for a more mechanistic approach when analysing possible changes to climate change.


  • Ecology
  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 1600-0706
Åke Lindström
E-mail: ake [dot] lindstrom [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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