Events happening in one season can affect life-history traits at (the) subsequent season(s) by carry-over effects. Wintering conditions are known to affect breeding success, but few studies have investigated carry-over effects on survival. The Eurasian oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus is a coastal wader with sedentary populations at temperate sites and migratory populations in northern breeding grounds of Europe. We pooled continental European ringing-recovery datasets from 1975 to 2000 to estimate winter and summer survival rates of migrant and resident populations and to investigate long-term effects of winter habitat changes. During mild climatic periods, adults of both migratory and resident populations exhibited survival rates 2% lower in summer than in winter. Severe winters reduced survival rates (down to 25% reduction) and were often followed by a decline in survival during the following summer, via short-term carry-over effects. Habitat changes in the Dutch wintering grounds caused a reduction in food stocks, leading to reduced survival rates, particularly in young birds. Therefore, wintering habitat changes resulted in long-term (>10 years) 8.7 and 9.4% decrease in adult annual survival of migrant and resident populations respectively. Studying the impact of carry-over effects is crucial for understanding the life history of migratory birds and the development of conservation measures.
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2012

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