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Long-term trends and drought: spatiotemporal variation in juvenile sex ratios of North American ducks
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  • Sage Ellis,
  • Madeleine Lohman,
  • James Sedinger,
  • Perry Williams,
  • Thomas Riecke
Sage Ellis
University of Nevada, Reno

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Madeleine Lohman
University of Nevada-Reno
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James Sedinger
University of nevada Reno
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Perry Williams
University of Nevada, Reno
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Thomas Riecke
Swiss Ornithological Institute
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Sex ratios affect population dynamics and individual fitness, and changing sex ratios can be indicative of shifts in sex-specific survival at different life stages. While climate- and landscape-change alter sex ratios of wild bird populations, long-term, landscape scale assessments of sex ratios are rare. Further, little work has been done to understand changes in sex ratios in avian communities. In this manuscript, we analyse long-term (1961-2015) data on five species of ducks across five broad climatic regions of the United States to estimate the effects of drought and long-term trends on the proportion of juvenile females captured at banding. As waterfowl have a 1:1 sex ratio at hatch, we interpret changes in sex ratios of captured juveniles as changes in sex-specific survival rates during early life. Seven of twelve species-region pairs exhibited evidence for long-term trends in the proportion of juvenile females at banding. The proportion of juvenile females at banding increased for duck populations in the western United States and typically declined for duck populations in the eastern United States. We only observed evidence for an effect of drought in two of the twelve species-region pairs, where the proportion of females declined during drought. As changes to North American landscapes and climate continue and intensify, we expect continued changes in sex-specific juvenile survival rates. More broadly, we encourage further research examining the mechanisms underlying long-term trends in juvenile sex ratios in avian communities.
29 Oct 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
01 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
01 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
02 Nov 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
26 Nov 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
03 Mar 20221st Revision Received
04 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
04 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
04 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
29 Mar 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
12 Jun 20222nd Revision Received
13 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
13 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
13 Jun 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Jul 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 7. 10.1002/ece3.9099