Emmenegger, T, Bensch, S, Hahn, S, Kishkinev, D, Procházka, P, Zehtindjiev, P and Bauer, S (2020) Effects of blood parasite infections on spatiotemporal migration patterns and activity budgets in a long-distance migratory passerine. Ecology and Evolution. ISSN 2045-7758

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How blood parasite infections influence the migration of hosts remains a lively debated issue as past studies found negative, positive or no response to infections. This particularly applies to small birds, for which monitoring of detailed migration behaviour ovea whole annual cycle has been technically unachievable so far. Here, we investigate how bird migration is influenced by parasite infections. To this end, we tracked great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) with multi-sensor loggers, characterized general migration patterns as well as detailed flight bout durations, resting times and flight heights and related these to the genus and intensity of their avian haemosporidian infections. We found migration distances to be shorter and the onset of autumn migration to be delayed with increasing intensity of blood parasite infection, in particular for birds with Plasmodium and mixed-genus infections. Additionally, the durations of migratory flight bout were prolonged for infected compared to uninfected birds. But since severely infected birds and particularly birds with mixed genus infections had shorter resting times, initial delays seemed to be compensated for and the timing in other periods of the annual cycle was not compromised by infection. Overall, our multi-sensor logger approach revealed that avian blood parasites have mostly subtle effects on migratory performance and that effects can occur in specific periods of the year only.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/20457758 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: biologging, bird migration, flight height, great reed warbler, Haemoproteus, migration timing, parasites, Plasmodium, activity, resting
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2020 15:33
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2020 10:34
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8834

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