University of Oulu

Lisovski, S., Neumann, R., Albrecht, T., Munclinger, P., Ahola, M.P., Bauer, S., Cepak, J., Fransson, T., Jakobsson, S., Jaakkonen, T., Klvana, P., Kullberg, C., Laaksonen, T., Metzger, B., Piha, M., Shurulinkov, P., Stach, R., Ström, K., Velmala, W. and Briedis, M. (2021), The Indo-European flyway: Opportunities and constraints reflected by Common Rosefinches breeding across Europe. J Biogeogr, 48: 1255-1266.

The Indo-European flyway : opportunities and constraints reflected by Common Rosefinches breeding across Europe

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Author: Lisovski, Simeon1,2; Neumann, Roland3; Albrecht, Tomas4,5;
Organizations: 1Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland
2Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems, Telegrafenberg, Potsdam, Germany
3Kritzmower Weg 1, Wilsen, Germany
4Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
5Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
6Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
7Bird Ringing Station, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic
8Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
9Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
11Natural Resources Institute Finland, Turku, Finland
12Birdlife Malta, Ta' Xbiex, Malta
13Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki, Finland
14National Museum of Natural History, Sofia, Bulgaria
15Tvetgatan 277, Kungälv, Sweden
16Lab of Ornithology, Institute of Biology, University of Latvia, Salaspils, Latvia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-05


Aim: The configuration of the earth's landmasses influences global weather systems and spatiotemporal resource availability, thereby shaping biogeographical patterns and migratory routes of animals. Here, we aim to identify potential migratory barriers and corridors, as well as general migration strategies within the understudied Indo-European flyway.

Location: Europe, Central Asia.

Major taxon studied: Common rosefinches.

Methods: We used a combination of theoretical optimization modelling and empirical tracking of Common Rosefinches (Carpodacus erythrinus) breeding across a large latitudinal gradient in Europe. First, we identified optimal migration routes driven by wind and resource availability along the Indo-European flyway. Second, we tracked rosefinches from five breeding populations using light-level geolocators. Finally, we compared to what extent empirical tracks overlapped with the modelled optimal routes.

Results: In autumn, theoretical wind driven migration routes formed a broad-front corridor connecting Europe and the Indian Subcontinent while the theoretical resource driven routes formed a distinct north-south divide. The latter pattern also reflected the rosefinch tracks with all but the most southerly breeding birds making a northern detour towards non-breeding sites in Pakistan and India. In spring, the resource availability model predicted a similar migratory divide, however, the southern route seemed relatively more favourable and closely matched with the optimal wind driven migration routes. Spring tracking data showed larger overlap with the modelled wind driven migration routes compared to the resource driven routes.

Main conclusions: Optimal wind and resource driven migration routes along the Indo-European flyway are seasonally specific and to a large extend do not overlap with one another. Under these conditions, migratory birds adopt seasonally distinct migration strategies following energy minimization strategy in autumn, driven by resource availability, and time minimizing strategy in spring, driven by wind conditions. Our optimal migration models can be applied worldwide and used to validate against empirical data to explain large-scale biogeographic pattern of migratory animals.

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Series: Journal of biogeography
ISSN: 0305-0270
ISSN-E: 1365-2699
ISSN-L: 0305-0270
Volume: 48
Issue: 6
Pages: 1255 - 1266
DOI: 10.1111/jbi.14085
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: RN and MB received funding from the German Ornithologists´ Society. SL acknowledges financial support by the Geo.X Research Network for Geosciences in Berlin and Potsdam. PM and TA were supported by the Czech Science Foundation, projects no. P506/10/0716 and 17-24782S. This work was financially supported by Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic (DKRVO 2014/17, 2015/18 and DKRVO 2019–2023/6.VIII.c, National Museum, 00023272); The Academy of Finland (project no. 130436 to TL); The Finnish Cultural Foundation (Central Fund grant 00150300 to TJ). The procedures of the tracking studies were reviewed and approved by Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Finland (permit VARELY/1080/2015), Swedish Ethical Committee (permit Stockholm Södra Djurförsöksetiska nämnd Dnr S 41-11), Landesamt für Landwirtschaft, Lebensmittelsicherheit und Fischerei Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (7221.3-1.1-035/11).
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.