56 Works

Data from: Playing it safe? behavioural responses of mosquito larvae encountering a fish predator

Karthikeyan Chandrasegaran, Avehi Singh, Moumita Laha & Suhel Quader
Predation is a strong selective force that affects prey population and ecosystem dynamics. Detecting predators and associated levels of threat is crucial to prey responses. Once a predator is detected, anti-predatory responses improve the chances of survival of prey. We used Aedes aegypti larvae to study behavioural responses to predation threat from guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Specifically, we tested the relative importance of chemical cues, both in isolation and in combination with physical cues, in eliciting...

Data from: Characteristics of Narcondam Hornbill Rhyticeros narcondami nest trees

Rohit Naniwadekar, Sartaj Ghuman, Abhishek Gopal, Navendu Page & Vivek Ramachandran
The global distribution of the Narcondam Hornbill is restricted to the small Narcondam Island spread over an area of 6.8 sq. km in the Andaman Sea. In this study, we describe the nest site characteristics, and abundance of the Narcondam Hornbill nest tree species based on 33 nests (active and potential) that we observed during our study period. We describe nests that we found in 13 tree species including some species which have not been...

Hornbill abundance and breeding incidence in relation to habitat modification and fig fruit availability

Pooja Yashwant Pawar, Divya Mudappa & T. R. Shankar Raman
Asian hornbills are known to forage and breed in fragmented rainforests and agroforestry plantations in human‐modified landscapes adjoining contiguous protected forests. However, the factors influencing year‐round hornbill abundance, demography and tracking of key food resources such as wild fig Ficus fruits in modified habitats and protected forests remain poorly understood. We carried out monthly surveys of two species of high conservation concern, the Vulnerable Great Hornbill (GH, Buceros bicornis) and the endemic Malabar Grey Hornbill...

Active restoration fosters better recovery of tropical rainforest birds than natural regeneration in degraded forest fragments

T. R. Shankar Raman & Priyanka Hariharan
Ecological restoration has emerged as a key strategy for conserving tropical forests and habitat specialists, and monitoring faunal recovery using indicator taxa like birds can help assess restoration success. Few studies have examined, however, whether active restoration achieves better recovery of bird communities than natural regeneration, or how bird recovery relates to habitat affiliations of species in the community. In rainforests restored over the past two decades in a fragmented landscape (Western Ghats, India), we...

Building an ecologically-founded disease risk prioritization framework for migratory species based on contact with livestock

Munib Khanyari, Sarah Robinson, Eric Morgan, Tony Brown, Navinder Singh, Albert Salemgareyev, Steffen Zuther, Richard Kock & E Milner-Gulland
1. Shared use of rangelands by livestock and wildlife can lead to disease transmission. To align agricultural livelihoods with wildlife conservation, a multi-pronged and interdisciplinary approach for disease management is needed, particularly in data-limited situations with migratory hosts. Migratory wildlife and livestock can range over vast areas, and opportunities for disease control interventions are limited. Predictive frameworks are needed which can allow for identification of potential sites and timings of interventions. 2. We developed an...

Small mammals reduce distance-dependence and increase seed predation risk in tropical rainforest fragments

Aparna Krishnan, Anand M Osuri & Meghna Krishnadas
Seed predation and reduced predation risk with distance from conspecific trees are important influences on tree regeneration in tropical forests. Shifts in animal communities, such as an increase in rodents and other small mammals due to forest fragmentation, could alter patterns of seed predation and affect tree regeneration and community dynamics in forest fragments. We performed a field experiment on four native rainforest tree species in the Western Ghats, India, to test whether fragmentation increases...

Data on rainforest birds from line transect surveys in the Kalakad - Mundathurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India

T. R. Shankar Raman
This dataset contains data on rainforest bird communities collected along line transects in Kalakad - Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India, as part of doctoral research leading up to the following thesis:Raman, T. R. S. 2001. Community ecology and conservation of mid-elevation tropical rainforest bird communities in the southern Western Ghats, India. PhD thesis, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.Part of the data (from transects T2 and T3, in particular) was used in the following publication:Raman,...

Data from: Reduced hornbill abundance associated with low seed arrival and altered recruitment in a hunted and logged tropical forest

Rohit S. Naniwadekar, Ushma L. Shukla, Kavita Isvaran, Aparajita Datta, Rohit Naniwadekar & Ushma Shukla
Logging and hunting are two key direct threats to the survival of wildlife in the tropics, and also disrupt important ecosystem processes. We investigated the impacts of these two factors on the different stages of the seed dispersal cycle, including abundance of plants and their dispersers and dispersal of seeds and recruitment, in a tropical forest in north-east India. We focused on hornbills, which are important seed dispersers in these forests, and their food tree...

Data from: Tracking seed fates of tropical tree species: evidence for seed caching in a tropical forest in north-east India

Swati Sidhu & Aparajita Datta
Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that...

Data from: Plant-disperser mutualisms in a semi-arid habitat invaded by Lantana camara L.

Geetha Ramaswami, P. Somnath & Suhel Quader
Dispersal is an important ecological process that affects plant population structure and community composition. Invasive plants with fleshy fruits rapidly form associations with native and invasive dispersers, and may affect existing native plant-disperser associations. We asked whether frugivore visitation rate and fruit removal was associated with plant characteristics in a community of fleshy-fruited plants and whether an invasive plant receives more visitation and greater fruit removal than native plants in a semi-arid habitat of Andhra...

Forest cover and fruit crop size differentially influence frugivory of select rainforest tree species in Western Ghats, India (Part I)

Abhishek Gopal, Divya Mudappa, T. R. S. Raman & Rohit Naniwadekar
Forest fragmentation and habitat loss are major disruptors of plant–frugivore interactions, affecting seed dispersal and altering recruitment patterns of tree species dependent on vertebrate dispersers. In a heterogeneous production landscape (primarily tea and coffee plantations) in the southern Western Ghats, India, we examined effects of surrounding forest cover and fruit crop size on frugivory of four rainforest bird-dispersed tree species (N = 131 trees, ≥ 30 trees per species, observed for 623 h). Frugivore composition...

Data from: Herbivore control in connected seascapes: habitat determines when population regulation occurs in the life history of a key herbivore

Jordi Boada, Simone Farina, Rohan Arthur, Javier Romero, Patricia Prado & Teresa Alcoverro
Herbivore outbreaks often trigger catastrophic overgrazing events in marine macrophyte ecosystems. The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the dominant herbivore of shallow Mediterranean seascapes, is capable of precipitating shifts to barrens when its populations explode. P. lividus is found ubiquitously in rocky macroalgal communities and in sandy seagrass meadows of Posidonia oceanica, two of the most important subtidal habitats in the Mediterranean. We explored if habitat-specific regulation across the principal stages of the urchin life cycle...

Data from: Large frugivores matter: insights from network and seed dispersal effectiveness approaches

Rohit Naniwadekar, Saniya Chaplod, Aparajita Datta, Akanksha Rathore & Hari Sridhar
1.While large avian frugivores are known to be key dispersers for large‐seeded tree species, their role in community‐wide plant‐disperser networks is still poorly known. Large avian frugivores are also among the most threatened due to anthropogenic impacts. 2.We evaluated the role of large avian frugivores in a plant‐disperser community by a) determining whether the plant‐disperser community was modular, with a distinct community of large frugivores (thereby highlighting their importance), b) determining relative qualitative and quantitative...

Fecal egg counts for Kinnaura livestock and Asiatic Ibex in Pin Valley India

Munib Khanyari
Disease cross-transmission between wild and domestic ungulates can have negative impacts on agricultural economies and wildlife conservation. Assessing how to reduce these impacts is key to maintaining people’s livelihoods while also conserving wild ungulate populations. In the trans-Himalayan region of Pin valley, migratory flocks of sheep and goats share pastures seasonally with the resident wild ungulate, Asiatic ibex (Capra sibirica), leading to the possibility of disease cross-transmission. We focused our work on gastro-intestinal nematode (GINs)...

Data from: An expedition to Narcondam: observations of marine and terrestrial fauna including the island-endemic hornbill

T. R. Shankar Raman, Divya Mudappa, Tasneem Khan, Umeed Mistry, Ajai Saxena, Kalyan Varma, Naveen Ekka, Janaki Lenin & Romulus Whitaker
Oceanic islands, known for their ecologically sensitive ecosystems and endemic species, are of high conservation significance. The volcanic island of Narcondam in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indian Ocean, is a prime example and the only home of the endemic and globally endangered Narcondam Hornbill. Despite its ecological and evolutionary significance, there has been limited biological exploration and research on the island over the last century. Here, we report on a 2010 expedition to Narcondam,...

Data from: Positive relationships between association strength and phenotypic similarity characterize the assembly of mixed-species bird flocks worldwide

Hari Sridhar, Umesh Srinivasan, Robert A. Askins, Julio Cesar Canales Delgadillo, Chao-Chieh Chen, David N. Ewert, George A. Gale, Eben Goodale, Wendy K. Gram, Patrick J. Hart, Keith A. Hobson, Richard L. Hutto, Sarath W. Kotagama, Jessie L. Knowlton, Tien Ming Lee, Charles A. Munn, Somchai Nimnuan, B. Z. Nizam, Guillaume Péron, V. V. Robin, Amanda D. Rodewald, Paul G. Rodewald, Robert L. Thomson, Pranav Trivedi, Steven L. Van Wilgenburg … & Kartik Shanker
Competition theory predicts that communities at small spatial scales should consist of species more dissimilar than expected by chance. We find a strikingly different pattern in a multi-continent dataset (55 presence-absence matrices from 24 locations) on the composition of mixed-species bird flocks, important subunits of local bird communities the world over. Using null models and randomization tests followed by meta-analysis, we find the association strength of species in flocks to be strongly related to similarity...

Data from: Shifting to settled cultivation: changing practices among the Adis in Central Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India

Karthik Teegalapalli & Aparajita Datta
In the hilly tropics, although shifting cultivation is a widespread practice, government policies have attempted to replace it with other land uses. However, several factors determine whether farming communities can make the shift. We tried understanding the factors that facilitate or impede the shift to settled cultivation through interviews with the Adi tribe in north-east India. Although settled cultivation was initiated in the 60s, about 90% of the families still practise shifting cultivation, observing 13...

Data from: Long-lived groupers require structurally stable reefs in the face of repeated climate change disturbances

R. Karkarey, N. Kelkar, A. Savio Lobo, T. Alcoverro & R. Arthur
Benthic recovery from climate-related disturbances does not always warrant a commensurate functional recovery for reef-associated fish communities. Here, we examine the distribution of benthic groupers (family Serranidae) in coral reef communities from the Lakshadweep archipelago (Arabian Sea) in response to structural complexity and long-term habitat stability. These coral reefs that have been subject to two major El Niño Southern Oscillation-related coral bleaching events in the last decades (1998 and 2010). First, we employ a long-term...

Data from: Demographic superiority with increased logging in tropical understorey insectivorous birds

Umesh Srinivasan, James E. Hines & Suhel Quader
1. Selective logging is pervasive in the tropics and is among the most urgent threats to tropical biodiversity. The vast areas of logged tropical forest are often vulnerable to relogging, clear-felling, burning or conversion to plantations, despite evidence that logged forests retain a large proportion of tropical forest species at high abundances compared with alternate land uses. However, the demographic processes (e.g. survival, fecundity) that drive community or species properties (e.g. occurrence, density) in response...

Data from: Alternative reproductive tactics and inverse size-assortment in a high-density fish spawning aggregation

Rucha Karkarey, Amod Zambre, Kavita Isvaran & Rohan Arthur
Background: At high densities, terrestrial and marine species often employ alternate reproductive tactics (ARTs) to maximize reproductive benefits. We describe ARTs in a high-density and unfished spawning aggregation of the squaretail grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) in Lakshadweep, India. Results: As previously reported for this species, territorial males engage in pair-courtship, which is associated with a pair-spawning tactic. Here, we document a previously unreported school-courtship tactic; where territorial males court multiple females in mid-water schools, which appears...

Forest cover and fruit crop size differentially influence frugivory of select rainforest tree species in Western Ghats, India (Part II)

Rohit Naniwadekar, Durga Naniwadekar & Abhishek Gopal
Forest fragmentation and habitat loss are major disruptors of plant–frugivore interactions, affecting seed dispersal and altering recruitment patterns of tree species dependent on vertebrate dispersers. In a heterogeneous production landscape (primarily tea and coffee plantations) in the southern Western Ghats, India, we examined effects of surrounding forest cover and fruit crop size on frugivory of four rainforest bird-dispersed tree species (N = 131 trees, ≥ 30 trees per species, observed for 623 h). Frugivore composition...

Data from: Prey abundance and leopard diet in a plantation and rainforest landscape, Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats

Swati Sidhu, T. R. Shankar Raman & Divya Mudappa
Leopards use a wide range of habitats from natural forests to plantations in human-dominated landscapes. Within interface areas, understanding leopard ecology and diet can help in conservation management and conflict avoidance. In a fragmented rainforest and plantation landscape in southern India, we examined diet of large carnivores (with a focus on leopards) using scat analysis with DNA-based identification of predator species, and estimated relative abundance of prey species in different land uses through transect surveys....

Data from: Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards

Kulbhushansingh R. Suryawanshi, Stephen M. Redpath, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Sophie C. Smout & Charudutt Mishra
An increasing proportion of the world's poor is rearing livestock today, and the global livestock population is growing. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory killing is becoming an economic and conservation concern. A common recommendation for carnivore conservation and for reducing predation on livestock is to increase wild prey populations based on the assumption that the carnivores will consume this alternative food. Livestock predation, however, could either reduce or intensify with increases in...

Grazing and climate change have site-dependent interactive effects on vegetation in Asian montane rangelands

Mayank Kohli, Tserennadmid Mijidorj, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Charudutt Mishra, Bazartseren Boldgiv & Mahesh Sankaran
1. Climate over Asian montane rangelands is changing faster than the global average, posing serious threats to the future of the region’s livestock-based economies and cultures. Effects of climate change on rangeland vegetation likely depend on grazing by herbivores but the potential responses of vegetation to such changes in climate and grazing regimes remains unclear. 2. We examined vegetation responses to experimentally simulated climate change (warming, drought and increased rainfall) and grazing (clipping vegetation) between...

Data from: Large frugivores matter more on an island: insights from island-mainland comparison of plant-frugivore communities

Rohit Naniwadekar, Abhishek Gopal, Navendu Page, Sartaj Ghuman, Vivek Ramachandran & Jahnavi Joshi
Endozoochory, a mutualistic interaction between plants and frugivores, is one of the key processes responsible for maintenance of tropical biodiversity. Islands, which have a smaller subset of plants and frugivores when compared with mainland communities, offer an interesting setting to understand the organization of plant-frugivore communities vis-a-vis the mainland sites. We examined the relative influence of functional traits and phylogenetic relationships on the plant-seed disperser interactions on an island and a mainland site. The island...

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