A framework for the study of genetic variation in migratory behaviour

van Noordwijk, AJ, Pulido, F, Helm, B, Coppack, T, Delingat, J, Dingle, H, Hedenstrom, A, van der Jeugd, H, Marchetti, C, Nilsson, A and Perez-Tris, J (2006) A framework for the study of genetic variation in migratory behaviour. Journal of Ornithology, 147 2: 221-233. doi:10.1007/s10336-005-0047-z

Author van Noordwijk, AJ
Pulido, F
Helm, B
Coppack, T
Delingat, J
Dingle, H
Hedenstrom, A
van der Jeugd, H
Marchetti, C
Nilsson, A
Perez-Tris, J
Title A framework for the study of genetic variation in migratory behaviour
Journal name Journal of Ornithology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8375
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10336-005-0047-z
Volume 147
Issue 2
Start page 221
End page 233
Total pages 13
Editor Franz Bairlein
Place of publication New York
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
270700 Ecology and Evolution
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Evolutionary change results from selection acting on genetic variation. For migration to be successful, many different aspects of an animal's physiology and behaviour need to function in a co-coordinated way. Changes in one migratory trait are therefore likely to be accompanied by changes in other migratory and life-history traits. At present, we have some knowledge of the pressures that operate at the various stages of migration, but we know very little about the extent of genetic variation in various aspects of the migratory syndrome. As a consequence, our ability to predict which species is capable of what kind of evolutionary change, and at which rate, is limited. Here, we review how our evolutionary understanding of migration may benefit from taking a quantitative-genetic approach and present a framework for studying the causes of phenotypic variation. We review past research, that has mainly studied single migratory traits in captive birds, and discuss how this work could be extended to study genetic variation in the wild and to account for genetic correlations and correlated selection. In the future, reaction-norm approaches may become very important, as they allow the study of genetic and environmental effects on phenotypic expression within a single framework, as well as of their interactions. We advocate making more use of repeated measurements on single individuals to study the causes of among-individual variation in the wild, as they are easier to obtain than data on relatives and can provide valuable information for identifying and selecting traits. This approach will be particularly informative if it involves systematic testing of individuals under different environmental conditions. We propose extending this research agenda by using optimality models to predict levels of variation and covariation among traits and constraints. This may help us to select traits in which we might expect genetic variation, and to identify the most informative environmental axes. We also recommend an expansion of the passerine model, as this model does not apply to birds, like geese, where cultural transmission of spatio-temporal information is an important determinant of migration patterns and their variation.
Keyword Individual Variation
Migratory Syndrome
Migratory Traits
Quantitative Genetics
Optimal Avian Migration
Tit Parus-major
Great Tit
Photoperiodic Response
Bird Population
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2007 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 39 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 08:17:36 EST