Publications by authors named "Michael Kaatz"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Early-life behaviour predicts first-year survival in a long-distance avian migrant.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 01 13;288(1942):20202670. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Movement Ecology Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Early-life conditions have critical, long-lasting effects on the fate of individuals, yet early-life activity has rarely been linked to subsequent survival of animals in the wild. Using high-resolution GPS and body-acceleration data of 93 juvenile white storks (), we examined the links between behaviour during both pre-fledging and post-fledging (fledging-to-migration) periods and subsequent first-year survival. Juvenile daily activity (based on overall dynamic body acceleration) showed repeatable between-individual variation, the juveniles' pre- and post-fledging activity levels were correlated and both were positively associated with subsequent survival. Daily activity increased gradually throughout the post-fledging period, and the relationship between post-fledging activity and survival was stronger in individuals who increased their daily activity level faster (an interaction effect). We suggest that high activity profiles signified individuals with increased pre-migratory experience, higher individual quality and perhaps more proactive personality, which could underlie their superior survival rates. The duration of individuals' fledging-to-migration periods had a hump-shaped relationship with survival: higher survival was associated with intermediate rather than short or long durations. Short durations reflect lower pre-migratory experience, whereas very long ones were associated with slower increases in daily activity level which possibly reflects slow behavioural development. In accordance with previous studies, heavier nestlings and those that hatched and migrated earlier had increased survival. Using extensive tracking data, our study exposed new links between early-life attributes and survival, suggesting that early activity profiles in migrating birds can explain variation in first-year survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2670DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892428PMC
January 2021

Seasonal niche tracking of climate emerges at the population level in a migratory bird.

Proc Biol Sci 2020 09 23;287(1935):20201799. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, D-14469, Potsdam, Germany.

Seasonal animal migration is a widespread phenomenon. At the species level, it has been shown that many migratory animal species track similar climatic conditions throughout the year. However, it remains unclear whether such a niche tracking pattern is a direct consequence of individual behaviour or emerges at the population or species level through behavioural variability. Here, we estimated seasonal niche overlap and seasonal niche tracking at the individual and population level of central European white storks (). We quantified niche tracking for both weather and climate conditions to control for the different spatio-temporal scales over which ecological processes may operate. Our results indicate that niche tracking is a bottom-up process. Individuals mainly track weather conditions while climatic niche tracking mainly emerges at the population level. This result may be partially explained by a high degree of intra- and inter-individual variation in niche overlap between seasons. Understanding how migratory individuals, populations and species respond to seasonal environments is key for anticipating the impacts of global environmental changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1799DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542805PMC
September 2020

Early arrival at breeding grounds: Causes, costs and a trade-off with overwintering latitude.

J Anim Ecol 2018 11 3;87(6):1627-1638. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Movement Ecology Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Early arrival at breeding grounds is of prime importance for migrating birds as it is known to enhance breeding success. Adults, males and higher quality individuals typically arrive earlier, and across years, early arrival has been linked to warmer spring temperatures. However, the mechanisms and potential costs of early arrival are not well understood. To deepen the understanding of arrival date differences between individuals and years, we studied them in light of the preceding spring migration behaviour and atmospheric conditions en route. GPS and body acceleration (ACC) data were obtained for 35 adult white storks (Ciconia ciconia) over five years (2012-2016). ACC records were translated to energy expenditure estimates (overall dynamic body acceleration; ODBA) and to behavioural modes, and GPS fixes were coupled with environmental parameters. At the interindividual level (within years), early arrival was attributed primarily to departing earlier for migration and from more northern wintering sites (closer to breeding grounds), rather than to migration speed. In fact, early-departing birds flew slower, experienced weaker thermal uplifts and expended more energy during flight, but still arrived earlier, emphasizing the cost and the significance of early departure. Individuals that wintered further south arrived later at the breeding grounds but did not produce fewer fledglings, presumably due to positive carry-over effects of advantageous wintering conditions (increased precipitation, vegetation productivity and daylight time). Therefore, early arrival increased breeding success only after controlling for wintering latitude. Males arrived slightly ahead of females. Between years, late arrival was linked to colder temperatures en route through two different mechanisms: stronger headwinds causing slower migration and lower thermal uplifts resulting in longer stopovers. This study showed that distinct migratory properties underlie arrival time variation within and between years. It highlighted (a) an overlooked cost of early arrival induced by unfavourable atmospheric conditions during migration, (b) an important fitness trade-off in storks between arrival date and wintering habitat quality and (c) mechanistic explanations for the negative temperature-arrival date correlation in soaring birds. Such understanding of arrival time can facilitate forecasting migrating species responses to climate changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12898DOI Listing
November 2018

A periodic Markov model to formalize animal migration on a network.

R Soc Open Sci 2018 Jun 13;5(6):180438. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Group of Mathematical Modelling, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 9-11, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany.

Regular, long-distance migrations of thousands of animal species have consequences for the ecosystems that they visit, modifying trophic interactions and transporting many non-pathogenic and pathogenic organisms. The spatial structure and dynamic properties of animal migrations and population flyways largely determine those trophic and transport effects, but are yet poorly studied. As a basis, we propose a periodic Markov model on the spatial migration network of breeding, stopover and wintering sites to formally describe the process of animal migration on the population level. From seasonally changing transition rates we derived stable, seasonal densities of animals at the network nodes. We parametrized the model with high-quality GPS and satellite telemetry tracks of white storks () and greater white-fronted geese (). Topological and network flow properties of the two derived networks conform to migration properties like seasonally changing connectivity and shared, directed movement. Thus, the model realistically describes the migration movement of complete populations and can become an important tool to study the effects of climate and habitat change and pathogen spread on migratory animals. Furthermore, the property of periodically changing transition rates makes it a new type of complex model and we need to understand its dynamic properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180438DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6030295PMC
June 2018

Complete Genome Sequencing of sp. Strain LoGeW2-3, Isolated from the Pellet of a White Stork, Reveals a Novel Class D Beta-Lactamase Gene.

Genome Announc 2018 Jan 11;6(2). Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Robert Koch-Institut, Bereich Wernigerode, Wernigerode, Germany

Whole-genome sequencing of sp. strain LoGeW2-3, isolated from the pellet of a white stork (), reveals the presence of a plasmid of 179,399 bp encoding a CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and associated genes) system of the I-F type, and the chromosomally encoded novel class D beta-lactamase OXA-568.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01405-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764934PMC
January 2018

Relatedness of wildlife and livestock avian isolates of the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii to lineages spread in hospitals worldwide.

Environ Microbiol 2017 10 9;19(10):4349-4364. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Prof. Z. Szafrana Street 1, 65-561 Zielona Góra, Poland.

The natural habitats and potential reservoirs of the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii are poorly defined. Here, we put forth and tested the hypothesis of avian reservoirs of A. baumannii. We screened tracheal and rectal swab samples from livestock (chicken, geese) and wild birds (white stork nestlings) and isolated A. baumannii from 3% of sampled chicken (n = 220), 8% of geese (n = 40) and 25% of white stork nestlings (n = 661). Virulence of selected avian A. baumannii isolates was comparable to that of clinical isolates in the Galleria mellonella infection model. Whole genome sequencing revealed the close relationship of an antibiotic-susceptible chicken isolate from Germany with a multidrug-resistant human clinical isolate from China and additional linkages between livestock isolates and human clinical isolates related to international clonal lineages. Moreover, we identified stork isolates related to human clinical isolates from the United States. Multilocus sequence typing disclosed further kinship between avian and human isolates. Avian isolates do not form a distinct clade within the phylogeny of A. baumannii, instead they diverge into different lineages. Further, we provide evidence that A. baumannii is constantly present in the habitats occupied by storks. Collectively, our study suggests A. baumannii could be a zoonotic organism that may disseminate into livestock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.13931DOI Listing
October 2017

Extra-pair paternity in the socially monogamous white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is fairly common and independent of local density.

Sci Rep 2016 06 22;6:27976. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Movement Ecology Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904, Jerusalem, Israel.

Although many birds are socially monogamous, most (>75%) studied species are not strictly genetically monogamous, especially under high breeding density. We used molecular tools to reevaluate the reproductive strategy of the socially monogamous white stork (Ciconia ciconia) and examined local density effects. DNA samples of nestlings (Germany, Spain) were genotyped and assigned relationships using a two-program maximum likelihood classification. Relationships were successfully classified in 79.2% of German (n = 120) and 84.8% of Spanish (n = 59) nests. For each population respectively, 76.8% (n = 73) and 66.0% (n = 33) of nests contained only full-siblings, 10.5% (n = 10) and 18.0% (n = 9) had half-siblings (at least one nestling with a different parent), 3.2% (n = 3) and 10.0% (n = 5) had unrelated nestlings (at least two nestlings, each with different parents), and 9.5% (n = 9) and 6.0% (n = 3) had "not full-siblings" (could not differentiate between latter two cases). These deviations from strict monogamy place the white stork in the 59(th) percentile for extra-pair paternity among studied bird species. Although high breeding density generally increases extra-pair paternity, we found no significant association with this species' mating strategies. Thus although genetic monogamy is indeed prominent in the white stork, extra-pair paternity is fairly common compared to other bird species and cannot be explained by breeding density.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep27976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916429PMC
June 2016

The challenges of the first migration: movement and behaviour of juvenile vs. adult white storks with insights regarding juvenile mortality.

J Anim Ecol 2016 07 19;85(4):938-47. Epub 2016 May 19.

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904, Jerusalem, Israel.

Migration conveys an immense challenge, especially for juvenile birds coping with enduring and risky journeys shortly after fledging. Accordingly, juveniles exhibit considerably lower survival rates compared to adults, particularly during migration. Juvenile white storks (Ciconia ciconia), which are known to rely on adults during their first fall migration presumably for navigational purposes, also display much lower annual survival than adults. Using detailed GPS and body acceleration data, we examined the patterns and potential causes of age-related differences in fall migration properties of white storks by comparing first-year juveniles and adults. We compared juvenile and adult parameters of movement, behaviour and energy expenditure (estimated from overall dynamic body acceleration) and placed this in the context of the juveniles' lower survival rate. Juveniles used flapping flight vs. soaring flight 23% more than adults and were estimated to expend 14% more energy during flight. Juveniles did not compensate for their higher flight costs by increased refuelling or resting during migration. When juveniles and adults migrated together in the same flock, the juvenile flew mostly behind the adult and was left behind when they separated. Juveniles showed greater improvement in flight efficiency throughout migration compared to adults which appears crucial because juveniles exhibiting higher flight costs suffered increased mortality. Our findings demonstrate the conflict between the juveniles' inferior flight skills and their urge to keep up with mixed adult-juvenile flocks. We suggest that increased flight costs are an important proximate cause of juvenile mortality in white storks and likely in other soaring migrants and that natural selection is operating on juvenile variation in flight efficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12525DOI Listing
July 2016

Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations.

Sci Adv 2016 Jan 22;2(1):e1500931. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany.; Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.

Annual migratory movements can range from a few tens to thousands of kilometers, creating unique energetic requirements for each specific species and journey. Even within the same species, migration costs can vary largely because of flexible, opportunistic life history strategies. We uncover the large extent of variation in the lifetime migratory decisions of young white storks originating from eight populations. Not only did juvenile storks differ in their geographically distinct wintering locations, their diverse migration patterns also affected the amount of energy individuals invested for locomotion during the first months of their life. Overwintering in areas with higher human population reduced the stork's overall energy expenditure because of shorter daily foraging trips, closer wintering grounds, or a complete suppression of migration. Because migrants can change ecological processes in several distinct communities simultaneously, understanding their life history decisions helps not only to protect migratory species but also to conserve stable ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737271PMC
January 2016