Fine-scale predator movements may be driven by many factors including sex, habitat, and distribution of resources. There may also be individual preferences for certain movement strategies within a population which can be hard to quantify. Within top predators, movements are also going to be directly related to the mode of hunting; for example sit-and-wait or actively searching for prey. Although there is mounting evidence that different hunting modes can cause opposing trophic cascades, there has...
Evolutionary ecologists increasingly study reaction norms that are expressed repeatedly within the same individual's lifetime. For example, foragers continuously alter anti-predator vigilance in response to moment-to-moment changes in predation risk. Variation in this form of plasticity occurs both among and within individuals. Among-individual variation in plasticity (individual by environment interaction or I×E) is commonly studied; by contrast, despite increasing interest in its evolution and ecology, within-individual variation in phenotypic plasticity is not. We outline a...
Macroecological patterns are found in animals and plants, but also in micro-organisms. Macroecological and biogeographic distribution patterns in marine Archaea, however, have not been studied yet. Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) show a bipolar distribution (i.e. similar communities in the northernmost and the southernmost locations, separated by distinct communities in the tropical and gyral regions) throughout the Atlantic, detectable from epipelagic to upper bathypelagic layers (<2000 m depth). This tentatively suggests an influence of the epipelagic conditions...
Data from: When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather eventNathan R. Senner, Mo A. Verhoeven, José M. Abad-Gómez, Jorge S. Gutiérrez, Jos C. E. W. Hooijmeijer, Rosemarie Kentie, José A. Masero, T. Lee Tibbitts & Theunis Piersma
1. Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic, making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict the repercussions of similar events in the future. 2. To improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which short-term events can incur long-term consequences, we documented the behavioural responses and fitness consequences for a...
Data from: Interactive effects between physical forces and ecosystem engineers on seed burial: a case study using Spartina anglicaZhenchang Zhu, Francesco Cozzoli, Nanyang Chu, Maria Salvador, Tom Ysebaert, Liquan Zhang, Peter M. J. Herman & Tjeerd J. Bouma
Seed burial (i.e. vertical seed dispersal) has become increasingly valued for its relevance for seed fate and plant recruitment. While ecosystem engineers have been generally considered as the most important drivers of seed burial, the role of physical forces, such as wind or water flow, has been largely overlooked. Using tidal habitats as a model system, and a combination of flume and mesocosm experiments, we investigated the effects of 1) currents, 2) benthic animals with...
Data from: Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at riskTheunis Piersma, Tamar Lok, Ying Chen, Chris J. Hassell, Hong-Yan Yang, Adrian Boyle, Matt Slaymaker, Ying-Chi Chan, David S. Melville, Zheng-Wang Zhang & Zhijun Ma
There is increasing concern about the world's animal migrations. With many land-use and climatological changes occurring simultaneously, pinning down the causes of large-scale conservation problems requires sophisticated and data-intensive approaches. Declining shorebird numbers along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, in combination with data on habitat loss along the Yellow Sea (where these birds refuel during long-distance migrations), indicate a flyway under threat. If habitat loss at staging areas indeed leads to flyway-wide bird losses, we would...
Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian...
Data from: Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway: a comparative approach using stable isotopesTeresa Catry, Pedro M. Lourenço, Ricardo J. Lopes, Camilo Carneiro, José A. Alves, Joana Costa, Hamid Rguibi-Idrissi, Stuart Bearhop, Theunis Piersma & José P. Granadeiro
Food webs and trophic dynamics of coastal systems have been the focus of intense research throughout the world, as they prove to be critical in understanding ecosystem processes and functions. However, very few studies have undertaken a quantitative comparison of entire food webs from a key consumer perspective across a broad geographical area, limiting relevant comparisons among systems with distinct biotic and abiotic components. We investigate the structure and functioning of food webs in four...
Data from: Validating the incorporation of 13C and 15N in a shorebird that consumes an isotopically distinct chemosymbiotic bivalveJan A. Van Gils & Mohamed Vall Ahmedou Salem
The wealth of field studies using stable isotopes to make inferences about animal diets require controlled validation experiments to make proper interpretations. Despite several pleas in the literature for such experiments, validation studies are still lagging behind, notably in consumers dwelling in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems. In this paper we present such a validation experiment for the incorporation of 13C and 15N in the blood plasma of a medium-sized shorebird, the red knot (Calidris canutus canutus), consuming...
Data from: Phenotype-limited distributions: short-billed birds move away during times that prey bury deeplySjoerd Duijns, Jan A. Van Gils, Jennifer Smart & Theunis Piersma
In our seasonal world, animals face a variety of environmental conditions in the course of the year. To cope with such seasonality, animals may be phenotypically flexible, but some phenotypic traits are fixed. If fixed phenotypic traits are functionally linked to resource use, then animals should redistribute in response to seasonally changing resources, leading to a ‘phenotype-limited’ distribution. Here, we examine this possibility for a shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica; a long-billed and sexually...
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research10
University of Groningen5
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology1
Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive1
University of Pretoria1
University of Aveiro1
Dyer Island Conservation Trust1
University of Extremadura1