Susanne Akesson

Susanne Akesson
Lund University | LU · Department of Biology

Professor, PhD

About

255
Publications
97,974
Reads
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9,898
Citations
Citations since 2017
91 Research Items
4825 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
Introduction
I perform research and teach on migration ecology, animal navigation and sensory biology at the Centre for Animal Movement Research (CAnMove) at Lund University.
Additional affiliations
March 1996 - October 1997
University of Zurich
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Topic of research: landmark navigation in desert ants.
October 1989 - September 1995
Lund University
Position
  • PhD

Publications

Publications (255)
Article
Full-text available
It is a long-standing view that the main mechanism maintaining narrow migratory divides in passerines is the selection against intermediate and suboptimal migratory direction, but empirical proof of this is still lacking. We present novel results from a willow warbler migratory divide in central Sweden from where birds take the typical SW and SE as...
Poster
The main goal of the LIFE EUROKITE project is to reduce anthropogenic causes of mortality of the red kite in Europe. The efficient protection of the red kite requires the detailed understanding of overall mortality reasons, especially focusing on those caused by legal and illegal human activities. The LIFE EUROKITE project focuses on a Europe-wide...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bergmann’s rule states that homeotherms are larger in colder climates (which occur at higher latitudes and elevations) due to thermoregulatory mechanisms. Despite being perhaps the most extensively studied biogeographical rule across all organisms, consistent mechanisms explaining which species or taxa adhere to Bergmann’s rule have been elusive. F...
Article
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Birds have evolved morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations, encoded in their migratory programs, to enable successful migration. Sometimes, even closely related species, such as the Eurasian reed warbler and the sedge warbler, may adopt different migration strategies to reach their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. To study...
Article
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Understanding the trade-off between energy expenditure of carrying large fuel loads and the risk of fuel depletion is imperative to understand the evolution of flight strategies during long-distance animal migration. Global flyways regularly involve sea-crossings that may impose flight prolongations on migrating land-birds and thereby reduce their...
Article
We have used a continuous-wave bi-static lidar system based on the Scheimpflug principle in measurements on flying insects above, and in the vicinity of, a small lake located in a forested area in Southern Sweden. The system, which operates on triangulation principles, has a high spatial resolution at close distance, followed by a subsequent declin...
Article
Migratory birds must make complex decisions to use wind to their advantage during flight and increasing flight performance is particularly important while crossing ecological barriers. Age-related differences in how birds deal with wind have suggested experience improves necessary skills in gaining positive wind support. However, differences in win...
Article
Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], the authors identified missing data in panel d of Fig. 2 due to a typesetting mistake. The correct Fig. 2 is included in this Correction and the original article has been corrected.
Article
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Songbirds have evolved diverse strategies to cope with seasonality, including long‐, medium‐, and short‐distance migration. There is some evidence that birds with a longer migration distance deposit fuel faster. However, most studies focus on long‐distance migrants. Comparisons between species with different migration distances are necessary to bro...
Article
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Migratory routes and remote wintering quarters in birds are often species and even population specific. It has been known for decades that songbirds mainly migrate solitarily, and that the migration direction is genetically controlled. Yet, the underlying genetic mechanisms remain unknown. To investigate the genetic basis of migration direction, we...
Article
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Why and how new migration routes emerge remain fundamental questions in ecology, particularly in the context of current global changes. In its early stages, when few individuals are involved, the evolution of new migration routes can be easily confused with vagrancy, i.e. the occurrence of individuals outside their regular breeding, non-breeding or...
Preprint
The degree to which avian migrants return to the same stationary sites to mimic routes from previous years has received more and more attention as the possibility of tracking small to medium avian migrants over multiple annual cycles has increased. Repeated measurements of individuals can potentially inform about their navigation and migration stra...
Article
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Calls for urgent action to conserve biodiversity under global change are increasing, and conservation of migratory species in this context poses special challenges. In the last two decades the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has provided a framework for several subsidiary instruments including action plans...
Article
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Background As a widely distributed and aerial migratory bird, the Common Swift (Apus apus) flies over a wide geographic range in Eurasia and Africa during migration. Although some studies have revealed the migration routes and phenology of European populations, A. a. apus (from hereon the nominate apus), the route used by its East Asian counterpart...
Article
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We present conservation actions during 2007–2020 as part of the national Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia species action plan at Stenarna in the Björn archipelago, Uppland, the largest colony in Sweden. We applied a combination of monitoring, research, and management measures conducted within an adaptive approach framework, using both established an...
Article
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The original publication of this article [1] contained an incorrect version of Figs. 2 and 4 which did not contain the panel indications. The original article has been updated with the corrected figures. The publisher apologizes for the inconvenience caused.
Article
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Space-based tracking technology using low-cost miniature tags is now delivering data on fine-scale animal movement at near-global scale. Linked with remotely sensed environmental data, this offers a biological lens on habitat integrity and connectivity for conservation and human health; a global network of animal sentinels of environmental change.
Article
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While advances in biologging have revealed many spectacular animal migrations, it remains poorly understood how young animals learn to migrate. Even in social species, it is unclear how migratory skills are transmitted from one generation to another and what implications this may have. Here we show that in Caspian terns Hydroprogne caspia family gr...
Article
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Background Birds that forage while covering distance during migration should adjust traveling behaviors as the availability of foraging habitat changes. Particularly, the behavior of those species that depend on bodies of water to find food yet manage to migrate over changing landscapes may be limited by the substantial variation in feeding opportu...
Article
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Aim Understanding the spatial ecology of animal movements is a critical element in conserving long‐lived, highly mobile marine species. Analyzing networks developed from movements of six sea turtle species reveals marine connectivity and can help prioritize conservation efforts. Location Global. Methods We collated telemetry data from 1235 indivi...
Article
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Spontaneous magnetic alignment is the simplest known directional response to the geomagnetic field that animals perform. Magnetic alignment is not a goal directed response and its relevance in the context of orientation and navigation has received little attention. Migratory songbirds, long-standing model organisms for studying magnetosensation, ha...
Article
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Avian migrants may fly at a range of altitudes, but usually concentrate near strata where a combination of flight conditions is favourable. The aerial environment can have a large impact on the performance of the migrant and is usually highly dynamic, making it beneficial for a bird to regularly check the flight conditions at alternative altitudes....
Article
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Habitat preferences and foraging strategies affect population-level space use and are therefore crucial to understanding population change and implementing spatial conservation and management actions. We investigated the breeding season habitat preference and foraging site fidelity of the under-studied and threatened, Baltic Sea population of Caspi...
Article
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The seasonal timing of moult in migratory birds is an adaptation to cope with time constraints in the annual cycle. Kiat and Izhaki analysed moult patterns in Palaearctic passerines and rejected the proposition that seasonally divided moult is an endogenously controlled strategy. Instead, they advocated the view that it occurs due to a flexible and...
Article
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The conservation of migratory species poses significant challenges that may be countered by detailed knowledge about the sites used by migrants throughout the annual cycle. We present the first GPS‐tracking data on the migration of declining Caspian terns Hydroprogne caspia breeding in the Baltic Sea. For 39 Caspian terns from colonies along a lati...
Article
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Massive bird migration across continents and seas is one of the most spectacular phenomena in nature, involving billions of birds annually. In the autumn, most birds on migration are juveniles migrating for the first time while adults are repeating their migrations. Migration syndrome in individual bird migrants involves multiple behavioural, morph...
Article
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Long-distance migration has evolved repeatedly in animals and covers substantial distances across the globe. The overall speed of migration in birds is determined by fueling rate at stopover, flight speed, power consumption during flight, and wind support. The highest speeds (500 km/day) have been predicted in small birds with a fly-and-forage stra...
Article
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We investigated the migratory orientation of early and late captured dunlins, Calidris alpina, by recording their migratory activity in circular orientation cages during autumn at a staging site in southwest Alaska and performed route simulations to the wintering areas. Two races of dunlins breeding in Alaska have different wintering grounds in Nor...
Article
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Juvenile songbirds rely on an endogenous program, encoding direction, distance, fueling, and timing of migration. Migratory distance is species-specific, expressed as a period of migratory restlessness, for which the length is correlated with distance, while fueling is modified to meet anticipated flight distances controlled by geomagnetic cues and...
Article
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Wind turbines have considerable impact on flying animals, particularly bats, which are sometimes killed in large numbers by the moving rotors. A longstanding question remains why bats are attracted to wind turbines and risk their lives among the moving rotor blades. One hypothesis is that they feed on insects swarming around the turbine towers and...
Article
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Biologging devices are providing detailed insights into the behaviour and movement of animals in their natural environments. It is usually assumed that this method of gathering data does not impact on the behaviour observed. However, potential negative effects on birds have rarely been investigated before field‐based studies are initiated. Seabirds...
Article
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Spectacular long-distance migration has evolved repeatedly in animals enabling exploration of resources separated in time and space. In birds, these patterns are largely driven by seasonality, cost of migration, and asymmetries in competition leading most often to leap-frog migration, where northern breeding populations winter furthest to the south...
Article
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Several species of migratory swifts breed in the Western Palearctic, but they differ in reproductive traits and nonbreeding areas explored in Africa. We examined survival and recapture probabilities of two species of swifts by capture–mark–recapture data collected in northern Italy (Pallid Swift Apus pallidus in Carmagnola, Turin, and Common Swift...
Article
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Biological rhythms of nearly all animals on earth are synchronized with natural light and are aligned to day‐and‐night transitions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the lunar cycle affects the nocturnal flight activity of European Nightjars (Caprimulgus europaeus). We describe daily activity patterns of individuals from three different countries a...
Article
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Backgrounds: Geographic regions, where two closely related taxa with different migration routes come into contact, are known as migratory divides. Hybrids originating from migratory divides are hypothesized to migrate intermediately relative to the parental populations. Few studies have tested this hypothesis in wild birds, and only in hybrids tha...
Article
Full-text available
Endogenous programs that regulate annual cycles have been shown for many taxa, including protists, arthropods, fish, mammals and birds. In migration biology, these programs are best known in songbirds. The majority of songbirds rely on a genetic program inherited from their parents that will guide them during their first solo-migration. The phenoty...
Data
Presentation Talk Journal Club "Optic flow cues help explain altitude control over sea in freely flying gulls"
Article
Full-text available
Every year, billions of seasonal migrants connect continents by transporting nutrients, energy, and pathogens between distant communities and ecosystems. For animals that power their movements by endogenous energy stores, the daily energy intake rates strongly influence the speed of migration. If access to food resources varies cyclically over the...
Article
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For studies of how birds control their altitude, seabirds are of particular interest because they forage offshore where the visual environment can be simply modelled by a flat world textured by waves then generating only ventral visual cues. This study suggests that optic flow, i.e. the rate at which the sea moves across the eye's retina, can expla...
Article
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It is essential to gain knowledge about the causes and extent of migratory connectivity between stationary periods of migrants to further the understanding of processes affecting populations, and to allow efficient implementation of conservation efforts throughout the annual cycle. Avian migrants likely use optimal routes with respect to mode of lo...
Article
Full-text available
The distributions of migratory species in the ocean span local, national and international jurisdictions. Across these ecologically interconnected regions, migratory marine species interact with anthropogenic stressors throughout their lives. Migratory connectivity, the geographical linking of individuals and populations throughout their migratory...
Article
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We present the first study to examine the year-round distribution, activity patterns, and habitat use of one of New Zealand's most common seabirds, the fluttering shearwater (Puffinus gavia). Seven adults from Burgess Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, and one individual from Long Island, in the Marlborough Sounds, were successfully tracked with combined...
Conference Paper
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Sleep is a universal and complex state and it is widely agreed that this state is present in every animal species. However, the evolutionary origins of sleep remain ignored or misunderstood, which has led researchers to study, in various species, this common behaviour of all living organisms. Sleep is commonly studied at various levels under labora...
Article
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Long-distance migrants with transcontinental breeding ranges are of particular interest for the study of local adaptation and geographic differentiation in birds. We compared phenotypes and genotypes between Far East Siberian Willow Warblers Phylloscopus trochilus yakutensis Ticehurst, 1935 with the European subspecies P. t. trochilus Linnaeus, 175...
Article
Vector navigation, i.e., maintaining a constant heading for a given amount of time, is hypothesized to provide a viable basis for the navigational feats of a number of long-distance animal migrants. Since animals following this strategy are subject to drift by wind or by ocean current, performing long migrations relying on vector navigation is part...
Article
Full-text available
Birds possess a magnetic sense and rely on the Earth's magnetic field for orientation during migration. However, the geomagnetic field can be altered by solar activity at relative unpredictable intervals. How birds cope with the temporal geomagnetic variations caused by solar storms during migration is still unclear. We addressed this question by r...
Preprint
Full-text available
For studies of how flying animals control their flight, seabirds are of particular interest to track with a biologger because they forage offshore where the visual environment can be simply modeled by a flat world textured by waves. This study suggests that optic flow can explain gull's altitude control over seas. In particular, a new flight model...
Article
Several invertebrate and vertebrate species have been shown to align their body relative to the geomagnetic field. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the adaptive significance of magnetic body alignment outside the context of navigation. However, experimental evidence to investigate alternative hypotheses is still limited. We present a n...
Article
Full-text available
Capsule: Foraging behaviour in the Razorbill Alca torda during breeding was similar to that found elsewhere, aside from dive shape. Aims: To investigate the foraging behaviour of Razorbills during the breeding season at the largest colony in the central Baltic Sea. Methods: A combination of global positioning system (GPS) and time-depth recorder (T...
Article
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Bodypainting is widespread in African, Australian and Papua New Guinean indigenous communities. Many bodypaintings use white or bright yellow/grey/beige stripes on brown skin. Where the majority of people using bodypainting presently live, blood-sucking horseflies are abundant, and they frequently attack the naked brown regions of the human body su...
Article
Flight activity recorders have recently confirmed that alpine and common swifts spend the majority of their non‐breeding period on the wing, which may last 6–10 months. Here we test the hypothesis that the closely related pallid swift, a species with a breeding distribution around the Mediterranean, lead a similar aerial life‐style during its migra...
Article
Full-text available
Background Long-distance migration has evolved multiple times in different animal taxa. For insect migrants, the complete annual migration cycle covering several thousand kilometres, may be performed by several generations, each migrating part of the distance and reproducing. Different life-cycle stages and preferred orientation may thus, be found...
Article
Migratory songbirds are guided by an endogenous programme during their first migration, encoding timing of migration, distance and direction. To successfully perform migration, birds have evolved phenotypic adaptations for flight, fuelling and navigation. Migratory distance in different species of birds is encoded as a period of expressed migratory...
Article
Full-text available
Background: High-latitude bird migration has evolved after the last glaciation, in less than 10,000-15,000 years. Migrating songbirds rely on an endogenous migratory program, encoding timing, fueling, and routes, but it is still unknown which compass mechanism they use on migration. We used geolocators to track the migration of willow warblers (Ph...
Article
With timely allocated movement phases, mobile organisms can match their space‐use with the seasonality of the environment and thereby optimise their resource utilisation over time. Long‐distance avian migrants are known to move with the seasonal dynamics on an annual basis, but how individuals respond to seasonality within their tropical non‐breedi...
Article
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There are as many as 18 theories for the possible functions of the stripes of zebras, one of which is to cool the animal. We performed field experiments and thermographic measurements to investigate whether thermoregulation might work for zebra-striped bodies. A zebra body was modelled by water-filled metal barrels covered with horse, cattle and ze...