Journal of Avian Biology is seeking contributions for a Special Issue exploring new approaches to study the physiological underpinnings that enable, or possibly constrain, avian migration.

NEW manuscript Submission Deadline: 31 July 2024

Birds have fascinated animal ecologists and evolutionary biologists for decades as they are incredible athletes, able to prepare their phenotypes for the most enduring worldwide migrations. Equally, physiologists have been struck by aspects of avian performance. However, the proximate mechanisms underlying migratory birds’ remarkable life history characteristics are still poorly understood. More studies are needed to integrate existing work, explore further physiological mechanisms, and uncover the selective forces that shape a migratory lifestyle. Studying the links between migration and bird physiology is now more important than ever with many migratory species showing severe population declines worldwide; thus, physiological approaches could also help to evaluate the health of migratory individuals and populations.

This special issue will explore a broad range of physiological systems and approaches, from the molecular to the organelle and cellular level (including the host-associated microbiota) and the organismal level, that can facilitate or constrain the migration life-history stage. We are particularly interested in studies linking physiology and migratory performance, including departure timing and distance, in stopover ecology (e.g., duration or fuelling deposition), within- and between-population comparisons (e.g., migrant versus resident) and in annual schedules (e.g., moult timing).

We welcome authors to submit original research articles, short communications, reviews, or viewpoint articles related, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Uncovering the physiological mechanisms underpinning the flexibility in the migratory phenotype and evaluate its contribution to migratory decisions, such as route choice and migration phenology.
  • Identifying common physiological responses during migration and stopover across species (comparative analysis) and populations.
  • New approaches in physiologging and how they can help us to shed light on the proximate mechanisms of avian migration.
  • Exploring physiological responses during migration and stopover in response to land use or human-induced environmental change.

We are particularly interested in submissions coming from underrepresented geographic areas. If your institution does not currently have an Open Access agreement with Wiley to cover publication costs and if you are not covered through the research4life partnership, Journal of Avian Biology (JAB) is able to provide a limited number of waivers to cover publication costs. Read more here about JAB internal waivers.


How to:

If you intend to submit a manuscript for our special issue, please send a short email to any of the three subject editors (see contact information below) including a tentative title, type of article and name of the corresponding author. If you have any doubts concerning whether your research fits the topic of the special issue, you may also contact any of the three subject editors before your submission.

The deadline for full article submission is 31 July 2024. The manuscript will undergo the regular peer-review process. Please submit your manuscript through the JAB online submission system (indicate in the system and the cover letter that your manuscript is a contribution to the special issue). As soon as an article is accepted, it will be published as an early view article on the journal webpage. All accepted articles will be published together in a JAB Special Issue.  Please, check out the author guidelines of the journal about how to prepare your manuscript before submission.


Editors of the special issue

Tiia Kärkkäinen, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN), Spain (tmakark [at] gmail [dot] com)
Interests: Physiological markers underlying different life-history decisions and the importance of early-life conditions, aging, and stress biology

Pablo Salmón, Institute of Avian Research "Vogelwarte Helgoland" (IAR), Germany (pablo [dot] salmon [at] ifv-vogelwarte [dot] de)
Interests: Life-history variation and its underpinning physiological mechanisms, senescence, bioenergetics, and individual responses to anthropogenic change, in particular urbanisation and pollution.

Barbara Helm, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland (barbara [dot] helm [at] vogelwarte [dot] ch)
Interests: Migration biology, annual and diel timing, physiological pathways, anthropogenic change, in particular light pollution and climate change.