Cues and decision rules in animal migration

Silke Bauer, Bart A. Nolet, Jarl Giske, Jason W. Chapman, Susanne Åkesson, Anders Hedenström and John M. Fryxell

in Animal Migration

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199568994
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191774676 | DOI:
Cues and decision rules in animal migration

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Animals face many challenges during migration, including ‘where to go’ and ‘when to go’, for which migrants derive relevant information from proximate external (environmental) and internal (physiological) cues. This chapter synthesises the cues and decision rules in the phases of migration for the major migratory taxa. It makes some preliminary generalisations concerning the similarities and differences of the cues used across taxa and phases of migration. For instance, preparations for migration involve entrainment to time of the year and, consequently, photoperiod appears to be a ubiquitous cue. Furthermore, preparations often include changes in the body, and once these are accomplished, an internal cue indicates readiness to depart. The chapter concludes that much could be learned by overcoming taxonomic borders, identifying similarities and differences in the various migration types, and integrating theoretical and empirical efforts.

Keywords: navigation; orientation; phenology; photoperiod; internal signals; social transmission

Chapter.  11234 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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