Synchronizing biological cycles as key to survival under a scenario of global change: The Common quail (Coturnix coturnix) strategy

Nadal, Jesús; Ponz, Carolina; Margalida, Antoni (2018). Synchronizing biological cycles as key to survival under a scenario of global change: The Common quail (Coturnix coturnix) strategy. Science of the total environment, 613-614, pp. 1295-1301. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.168

[img] Text
Nadal_SciTotEnv2018.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Breeding grounds are key areas for sustaining Common quail (Coturnix coturnix) populations as this species is characterised by short life expectancy that requires high offspring production. Annually, breeding quails make up to three breeding attempts in different places. However, the impact of climate warming on quail phenology is unknown. Here, we use a long-term study (1961–2014) of quail-ringing in Spain and data on variation in rain- fall and temperature over the past 86 years to evaluate how quails have responded to climate change in recent years. Our aim was to understand how this species is adapting to new farming practices and climate change. Our results suggest that increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation modify quail phenology. In hot years, an advance in mean arrival dates and stay stages but a delay in departure dates was found. However, in rainy years a delay in the mean start of the stay stage occurred. In cloudy areas, our findings show that quails advance their stay periods in hot and dry years and delay them in cold and rainy years. Accordingly, quail move- ments and breeding attempts are eco-synchronized sequentially in cloudy regions. Our results suggest that quails attempt to overcome the negative impacts of climate change and agricultural intensification by searching for al- ternative high-quality habitats. This strategy could explain how quail populations maintain viable and sustain- able populations despite being legally harvested with regulated hunting.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Margalida, Antoni


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)








Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2019 13:03

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 21:38

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback