Life Science Mass Spectrometry Facility

The implications of large-scale habitat selection for population dynamics in the Icelandic Black-Tailed Godwit

Icelandic black-tailed godwits are migratory shorebirds that breed almost exclusively in Iceland and winter in western Europe. These birds utilize either freshwater or marine habitats in winter which which can be distinguished on the basis of carbon isotope ratios. As the quality of these habitats differ, this offers an opportunity to investigate the effects of winter habitat quality on breeding parameters in Iceland but studies linking winter and summer processes in migratory birds have previously been virtually impossible. This is the subject of a cooperative study between Tomas Gunnarsson and co-workers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and the LSMSF. So far, the study is producing very exciting results, showing clear links between life history parameters which operate across the range in a migratory bird. This work has recently been published in Royal Society Proceedings Biology.