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Climate-driven flyway changes and memory-based long-distance migration

Gu, Zhongru, Pan, Shengkai, Lin, Zhenzhen, Hu, Li, Dai, Xiaoyang, Chang, Jiang, Xue, Yuanchao, Su, Han, Long, Juan, Sun, Mengru, Ganusevich, Sergey, Sokolov, Vasiliy, Sokolov, Aleksandr, Pokrovsky, Ivan, Ji, Fen, Bruford, Michael W. ORCID:, Dixon, Andrew and Zhan, Xiangjiang 2021. Climate-driven flyway changes and memory-based long-distance migration. Nature 591 (7849) , 259–264. 10.1038/s41586-021-03265-0

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Millions of migratory birds occupy seasonally favourable breeding grounds in the Arctic1, but we know little about the formation, maintenance and future of the migration routes of Arctic birds and the genetic determinants of migratory distance. Here we established a continental-scale migration system that used satellite tracking to follow 56 peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from 6 populations that breed in the Eurasian Arctic, and resequenced 35 genomes from 4 of these populations. The breeding populations used five migration routes across Eurasia, which were probably formed by longitudinal and latitudinal shifts in their breeding grounds during the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene epoch. Contemporary environmental divergence between the routes appears to maintain their distinctiveness. We found that the gene ADCY8 is associated with population-level differences in migratory distance. We investigated the regulatory mechanism of this gene, and found that long-term memory was the most likely selective agent for divergence in ADCY8 among the peregrine populations. Global warming is predicted to influence migration strategies and diminish the breeding ranges of peregrine populations of the Eurasian Arctic. Harnessing ecological interactions and evolutionary processes to study climate-driven changes in migration can facilitate the conservation of migratory birds.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Nature
ISSN: 0028-0836
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 20 January 2021
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 00:29

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