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Weather mediated impacts on the breeding output of an Afro-Palearctic migratory waterbird

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Understanding the consequences of changing environmental conditions on the demographic parameters of migratory species is key for addressing the widely reported declines for many of these species. We explore the variation in reproductive investment and output of Purple Herons (Ardea purpurea) in two breeding seasons, with very different precipitation levels but similar temperatures. Despite similar investment in egg volume, reproductive output in the drier year was less than half of the wetter year (∼ 1.9 vs ∼4.1 chicks per pair) due to weather mediated higher predation. The current predictions of erratic precipitation and warming may threaten the breeding output of waterbirds, if water levels are unsuitable during the breeding season.
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Keywords: BREEDING SEASON; BREEDING SUCCESS; CLIMATE CHANGE; CONSERVATION BIOLOGY; PREDATION; PURPLE HERON

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-09-01

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  • Avian Biology Research provides a forum for the publication of research in every field of ornithology. It covers all aspects of pure and applied ornithology for wild or captive species as well as research that does not readily fit within the publication objectives of other ornithological journals. By considering a wide range of research fields for publication, Avian Biology Research provides a forum for people working in every field of ornithology. The journal also includes sections on avian news, conference diary and book reviews.

    Editor-in-Chief: Charles Deeming Editors: Tom Pike; Dale Sandercock; Claudia Wascher; Jenny Dunn
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    Cover image:Green-backed Tits in the Himalayas have large breast stripes that are dimorphic between males and females, for more read Barve et al. (2017) in this issue (Avian Biol Res, 10, 259–263). Credit: Rajesh Panwar.

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