70 Works

Data from: Rodent-avoidance, topography and forest structure shape territory selection of a forest bird

Gilberto Pasinelli, Alex Grendelmeier, Michael Gerber & Raphaël Arlettaz
Background - Understanding the factors underlying habitat selection is important in ecological and evolutionary contexts, and crucial for developing targeted conservation action in threatened species. However, the key factors associated to habitat selection often remain poorly known. We evaluated hypotheses related to abiotic and biotic factors thought to affect territory selection of the wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix, a passerine living in an unpredictable environment owing to irregular rodent outbreaks and showing long-term declines particularly in...

Data from: The importance of size, location and vegetation composition of perennial fallows for farmland birds

Kim S. Meichtry-Stier, Jérôme Duplain, Michael Lanz, Bernard Lugrin & Simon Birrer
Across Europe, patches of un-cropped land (field margins, fallows etc.) have been established and managed as part of agri-environment schemes (AES) to counteract the decrease of farmland biodiversity. Various studies demonstrate a positive impact of such un-cropped land on different taxa. However, there is potential to further improve the efficiency of fallow options for farmland birds. In a long-term monitoring, 12 breeding farmland bird species and sizes of perennial fallows were recorded from 1992 to...

Data from: Effect of light-level geolocators on apparent survival of two highly aerial swift species

Michelangelo Morganti, Diego Rubolini, Susanne Akesson, Ana Bermejo, Javier De La Puente, Roberto Lardelli, Felix Liechti, Giovanni Boano, Erika Tomassetto, Mauro Ferri, Mario Caffi, Nicola Saino & Roberto Ambrosini
Light-level geolocators are currently widely used to track the migration of small-sized birds, but their potentially detrimental effects on survival of highly aerial species have been poorly investigated so far. We recorded capture-recapture histories of 283 common swifts Apus apus and 107 pallid swifts Apus pallidus breeding in 14 colonies in Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland that were deployed with 10 different types of geolocators (‘geolocator birds’), and compared their survival with that of, respectively,...

Age specific reproduction in female pied flycatcher: evidence for asynchronous aging

Rémi Fay
Age-related variation in demographic performance is central for the understanding of population dynamics and evolutionary processes. Our understanding of age-trajectories in vital rates has long been limited by the lack of distinction between patterns occurring at the population and the individual levels, and by the lack of comparative studies of age trajectories among traits. Thus, we poorly know how sets of demographic traits change within individuals according to the age. Based on a 40 years...

Scale dependency of joint species distribution models challenges interpretation of biotic interactions

Christian König, Rafael O. Wüest, Catherine H. Graham, Dirk Nikolaus Karger, Thomas Sattler, Niklaus E. Zimmermann & Damaris Zurell
Aim: Separating the biotic and abiotic factors controlling species distributions has been a long-standing challenge in ecology and biogeography. Joint species distribution models (JSDMs) have emerged as a promising statistical framework towards this objective by simultaneously modeling the environmental responses of multiple species and approximating species associations based on patterns in their (co-)occurrences. However, the signature of biotic interactions should be most evident at fine spatial resolutions. Here, we test how the resolution of input...

Seasonal and daily movement patterns of an alpine passerine suggest high flexibility in relation to environmental conditions

Arnaud Barras, Felix Liechti & Raphaël Arlettaz
Mountains naturally offer variable habitat conditions, but their biodiversity is currently facing the extra challenge of adapting to rapid environmental shifts that are much more pronounced than in the lowlands. Among adaptive responses, intra- and inter-seasonal movements represent potentially important coping strategies for wildlife that remain largely unexplored. We investigated the seasonal and daily movements of the ring ouzel Turdus torquatus, a European mountain bird species that is declining in many parts of its distribution....

Bird species co-occurrence patterns in an Alpine environment supports the stress gradient hypothesis

Vicente García-Navas, Thomas Sattler, Hans Schmid & Arpat Ozgul
Understanding the relative contribution of different biotic interactions in shaping species assemblages constitutes a major goal in community ecology and consequently, multiple methods aimed at inferring the nature of these associations have emerged during the last decade. In this framework, the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH) predicts that prevalent biotic interactions shift from competition to facilitation as abiotic stress increases (and productivity decreases). This hypothesis originally raised by plant ecologists has been barely applied to faunal communities....

Experimental evaluation of herbicide use on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and timber production tradeoffs in forest plantations

Thomas Stokely, Urs Kormann, Jake Verschuyl, Andrew Kroll, David Frey, Scott Harris, Doug Mainwaring, Douglas Maguire, Jeff Hatten, James Rivers, Stephen Fitzgerald & Matthew Betts
The value of non-commodity ecosystem services provided by forests is widely recognized, but intensive forest management practices are increasing, with uncertain consequences for a multitude of these services. Quantitative relationships among biodiversity conservation, timber production, and other ecosystem services remain poorly understood, especially during the early successional period of intensively managed forestlands. We manipulated management intensity in regenerating forest plantations to test the prediction that treatments aimed at maximizing timber production decrease biodiversity conservation and...

Data from: The genetic regulation of avian migration timing: combining candidate genes and quantitative genetic approaches in a long-distance migrant

Miloš Krist, Pavel Munclinger, Martins Briedis & Peter Adamík
Plant and animal populations can adapt to prolonged environmental changes if they have sufficient genetic variation in important phenological traits. The genetic regulation of annual cycles can be studied either via candidate genes or through the decomposition of phenotypic variance by quantitative genetics. Here we combined both approaches to study the timing of migration in a long-distance migrant, the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). We found that none of the four studied candidate genes (CLOCK, NPAS2,...

Behavioural change during dispersal and its relationship to survival and reproduction in a cooperative breeder

Natasha Harrison, Nino Maag, Paul Haverkamp, André Ganswindt, Marta Manser, Tim Clutton-Brock, Arpat Ozgul & Gabriele Cozzi
(1) The ability of dispersing individuals to adjust their behaviour to changing conditions is instrumental in overcoming challenges and reducing dispersal costs, consequently increasing overall dispersal success. Understanding how dispersers’ behaviour and physiology change during the dispersal process, and how they differ from resident individuals, can shed light on the mechanisms by which dispersers increase survival and maximise reproduction. (2) By analysing individual behaviour and concentrations of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCM), a stress-associated biomarker, we...

Additional file 2 of Using skin temperature and activity profiles to assign chronotype in birds

Aurelia F. T. Strauß, Dominic J. McCafferty, Andreas Nord, Marina Lehmann & Barbara Helm
Additional file 2: R documentation of data selection and chronotype estimations.

Data from: An experimental evaluation of the effects of geolocator design and attachment method on between-year survival on whinchats Saxicola rubetra

Emma Blackburn, Malcolm Burgess, Benedictus Freeman, Alice Riseley, Arin Izang, Sam Ivande, Chris Hewson, Will Cresswell & Alice Risely
Data from location logging tags have revolutionised our understanding of migration ecology, but methods of tagging that do not compromise survival need to be identified. We compared resighting rates for 156 geolocator-tagged and 316 colour ringed-only whinchats on their African wintering grounds after migration to and from eastern Europe in two separate years. We experimentally varied both light stalk length (0, 5 and 10 mm) and harness material (elastic or non-elastic nylon braid tied on,...

Data from: Reproductive performance of a declining forest passerine in relation to environmental and social factors: implications for species conservation

Alexander Grendelmeier, Raphaël Arlettaz, Michael Gerber, Gilberto Pasinelli & Alex Grendelmeier
Identifying factors influencing a species’ ecological niche and demography is a prerequisite for species conservation. However, our understanding of the interplay between demographic rates and biotic/abiotic factors is still poor for most species of conservation concern. We evaluated relevance of eight hypotheses relating to timing of breeding, temporal nest exposure, nest concealment, topography, tree structure, predation risk and disturbance, density dependence and weather for explaining variation in reproductive performance of the declining wood warbler Phylloscopus...

Data from: Experimental evidence of human recreational disturbance effects on bird-territory establishment

Yves Bötsch, Zulima Tablado & Lukas Jenni
The worldwide increase in human outdoor activities raises concerns for wildlife. Human disturbances, even at low levels, are likely to impact species during sensitive periods of the annual cycle. However, experimental studies during the putative sensitive period of territory establishment of birds which not only investigate low disturbance levels, but which also exclude the effect of habitat modification (e.g. walking trails) are lacking. Here, we experimentally disturbed birds in forest plots by walking through twice...

Data from: Atmospheric conditions create freeways, detours and tailbacks for migrating birds

Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Felix Liechti & Wouter M. G. Vansteelant
The extraordinary adaptations of birds to contend with atmospheric conditions during their migratory flights have captivated ecologists for decades. During the 21st century technological advances have sparked a revival of research into the influence of weather on migrating birds. Using biologging technology, flight behaviour is measured across entire flyways, weather radar networks quantify large-scale migratory fluxes, citizen scientists gather observations of migrant birds and mechanistic models are used to simulate migration in dynamic aerial environments....

Data from: Survival varies seasonally in a migratory bird: linkages between breeding and non-breeding periods

Robert Robinson, Christoph Meier, Willem Witvliet, Marc Kery & Michael Schaub
1. Migratory species form an important component of biodiversity; they link ecosystems across the globe, but are increasingly threatened by global environmental change. Understanding and mitigating threats requires knowledge of how demographic processes operate throughout the annual cycle, but this can be difficult to achieve when breeding and non-breeding grounds are widely separated. 2. Our goal is to quantify the importance of variability in survival during the breeding and non-breeding seasons in determining variation in...

Deer density drives habitat use of establishing wolves in the Western European Alps

Stefanie Roder, François Biollaz, Stéphane Mettaz, Fridolin Zimmermann, Ralph Manz, Marc Kery, Sergio Vignali, Luca Fumagalli, Raphaël Arlettaz & Veronika Braunisch
1. The return of top carnivores to their historical range triggers conflicts with the interests of different stakeholder groups. Anticipating such conflicts is key to appropriate conservation management, which calls for reliable spatial predictions of future carnivore occurrence. Previous models have assessed general habitat suitability for wolves, but the factors driving the settlement of dispersing individuals remain ill-understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the role of prey availability in the recolonization process....

Data from: Climate change and functional traits affect population dynamics of a long-lived seabird

Stephanie Jenouvrier, Marine Desprez, Rémi Fay, Christophe Barbraud, Henri Weimerskirch, Karine Delord & Hal Caswell
1. Recent studies unravelled the effect of climate changes on populations through their impact on functional traits and demographic rates in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, but such understanding in marine ecosystems remains incomplete. 2. Here, we evaluate the impact of the combined effects of climate and functional traits on population dynamics of a long-lived migratory seabird breeding in the southern ocean: the black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris, BBA). We address the following prospective question: ''Of all...

Data from: A nation-wide survey of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural land with implications for agri-environment schemes

Ségolène Humann-Guilleminot, Łukasz Binkowski, Lukas Jenni, Gabriele Hilke, Gaétan Glauser & Fabrice Helfenstein
1. Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides globally. However, the link between farming practices and the extent of contamination of soils and crops by neonicotinoid insecticides, as well as and the extent of such contamination in organic fields and ecological focus areas (EFAs) are currently unclear. 2. We measured the concentrations of five neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid, acetamiprid) in 702 soil and plant samples in 169 cultivated fields and EFAs...

Integrating light-level geolocation with activity tracking reveals unexpected nocturnal migration patterns of the tawny pipit

Martins Briedis, Václav Beran, Peter Adamik & Steffen Hahn
Migratory birds complete their seasonal journeys between breeding and non-breeding sites with a series of migratory flights that are separated by prolonged stopovers. While songbirds are the most common taxa among migratory birds, empirical data on flight and stopover behaviour along their entire migratory journeys are still rare. Here, we integrate activity and barometric pressure tracking with classical light-level geolocation to describe migration behaviour of tawny pipits Anthus campestris breeding in Central Europe. Surprisingly, tracked...

Data from: Density-dependence produces spurious relationships among demographic parameters in a harvested species

Thomas Riecke, Madeleine Lohman, Ben Sedinger, Todd Arnold, David Koons, Cliff Feldheim, Frank Rohwer, Michael Schaub, Perry Williams & James Sedinger
1. Harvest of wild organisms is an important component of human culture, economy, and recreation, but can also put species at risk of extinction. Decisions that guide successful management actions therefore rely on the ability of researchers to link changes in demographic processes to the anthropogenic actions or environmental changes that underlie variation in demographic parameters. 2. Ecologists often use population models or maximum sustained yield curves to estimate the impacts of harvest on wildlife...

Additional file 3 of Using skin temperature and activity profiles to assign chronotype in birds

Aurelia F. T. Strauß, Dominic J. McCafferty, Andreas Nord, Marina Lehmann & Barbara Helm
Additional file 3: R documentation of changepoint functions.

Data from: Hide and seek in vegetation: time-to-detection is an efficient design for estimating detectability and occurrence

Christophe N. Bornand, Marc Kéry, Lena Bueche & Markus Fischer
1. Ecology and conservation require reliable data on the occurrence of animals and plants. A major source of bias is imperfect detection, which, however, can be corrected for by estimation of detectability. In traditional occupancy models, this requires repeat or multi-observer surveys. Recently, time-to-detection models have been developed as a cost-effective alternative, which requires no repeat surveys and hence costs could be halved. 2. We compared the efficiency and reliability of time-to-detection and traditional occupancy...

Data from: The genetic basis of color-related local adaptation in a ring-like colonization around the Mediterranean

Reto Burri, Sylvain Antoniazza, Arnaud Gaigher, Anne-Lyse Ducrest, Céline Simon, The European Barn Owl Network, Luca Fumagalli, Jerome Goudet & Alexandre Roulin
Uncovering the genetic basis of phenotypic variation and the population history under which it established is key to understand the trajectories along which local adaptation evolves. Here, we investigated the genetic basis and evolutionary history of a clinal plumage color polymorphism in European barn owls (Tyto alba). Our results suggest that barn owls colonized the Western Palearctic in a ring-like manner around the Mediterranean and meet in secondary contact in Greece. Rufous coloration appears to...

Data from: Sex-dependent carry-over effects on timing of reproduction and fecundity of a migratory bird

Nicola Saino, Roberto Ambrosini, Manuela Caprioli, Andrea Romano, Maria Romano, Diego Rubolini, Chiara Scandolara & Felix Liechti
Life of many organisms flows as a sequence of annual cycles. Timing of cyclical events is shaped by natural selection also via the domino effects that any life history stage has on the stages that follow. Such ‘carry-over effects’ have major consequences for evolutionary, ecological and demographic processes, but the causes that generate their individual-level variation, including the effect of sex, are poorly understood. We used light-level geolocators to study carry-over effects on the year-round...

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  • Swiss Ornithological Institute
  • University of Bern
  • Lund University
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Groningen
  • Palacký University, Olomouc
  • University of Milan
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Lausanne