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nest predation

Sarah K Thomsen, David J Green
Despite the profound impacts of drought on terrestrial productivity in coastal arid ecosystems, only a few studies have addressed how drought can influence ecological cascades across ecosystem boundaries. In this study, we examine the consequences of rainfall pulses and drought that subsequently impact the breeding success of a threatened nocturnal seabird, the Scripps's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi). On an island off the coast of southern California, the main cause of reduced nest success for one of their largest breeding colonies is egg predation by an endemic deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus elusus)...
February 17, 2019: Global Change Biology
Kyle A Cutting, Jay J Rotella, Sean R Schroff, Michael R Frisina, James A Waxe, Erika Nunlist, Bok F Sowell
Animals are expected to select habitats that maximize their fitness over evolutionary time scales. Yet in human-modified landscapes, habitat selection might not always lead to increased fitness because animals undervalue high-quality resources that appear less attractive than those of lower quality. In the American West, agriculture has modified landscapes, yet little is known about whether agricultural changes alter the reliability of the cues animals use to identify habitat quality; ultimately forming maladaptive breeding strategies where behavioral cues are mismatched with survival outcomes...
February 13, 2019: Journal of Environmental Management
J U Van Dyke, R -J Spencer, M B Thompson, B Chessman, K Howard, A Georges
Conservation requires rapid action to be effective, which is often difficult because of funding limitations, political constraints, and limited data. Turtles are among the world's most endangered vertebrate taxa, with almost half of 356 species threatened with extinction. In Australia's Murray River, nest predation by invasive foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was predicted to drive turtle declines in the 1980s. We assessed populations of the broad-shelled turtle (Chelodina expansa), eastern long-necked turtle (C. longicollis), and Murray River turtle (Emydura macquarii) in the Murray River and some of its associated waterways...
February 13, 2019: Scientific Reports
S James Reynolds, B John Hughes, Colin P Wearn, Roger C Dickey, Judith Brown, Nicola L Weber, Sam B Weber, Vitor H Paiva, Jaime A Ramos
In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio-indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre-date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) nesting at a major Atlantic colony, we reconstructed a long-term dietary time series from 1890 to the present day and show that a significant dietary shift occurred during the second half of the twentieth century coinciding with an apparent population collapse of approximately 84%...
February 3, 2019: Global Change Biology
Wendy Moore, Andrea Di Giulio
The carabid subfamily Paussinae contains many species known to be obligately associated with ants during at least one stage of their life history. Myrmecophilous larvae have been documented for members of the tribe Paussini as well as several genera in the tribes Ozaenini, including Physea and Eustra. Here we describe the first instar larva of Ozaena lemoulti, and find it to be the most highly modified ozaenine larva that we have examined to date. Many structures of the larva suggest that it is a myrmecophile...
2019: PloS One
Karen M Kapheim, Hailin Pan, Cai Li, Charles Blatti, Brock A Harpur, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Beryl M Jones, Clement F Kent, Livio Ruzzante, Laura Sloofman, Eckart Stolle, Robert M Waterhouse, Amro Zayed, Guojie Zhang, William T Wcislo
Alkali bees ( Nomia melanderi ) are solitary relatives of the halictine bees, which have become an important model for the evolution of social behavior, but for which few solitary comparisons exist. These ground-nesting bees defend their developing offspring against pathogens and predators, and thus exhibit some of the key traits that preceded insect sociality. Alkali bees are also efficient native pollinators of alfalfa seed, which is a crop of major economic value in the United States. We sequenced, assembled, and annotated a high-quality draft genome of 299...
January 14, 2019: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Katrine S Hoset, Magne Husby
Nest predation studies often use artificial nests to secure sample sizes and nest distribution patterns that allow empirically testing differences in predation rates between ecological units of interest. These studies rely on the assumption that natural and artificial nests experience similar or consistent relative predation rates across ecological gradients. As this assumption may depend on several factors (for example differences in predator community, nest construction, parental care patterns), it is important to test whether artificial nests provide adequate and comparable estimates of predation rates to natural nests...
2019: PloS One
Fredrik Andreasson, Andreas Nord, Jan-Åke Nilsson
Small animals that winter at northern latitudes need to maximize energy intake and minimize energy loss. Many passerine birds use night-time hypothermia to conserve energy. A potential cost of night-time hypothermia with much theoretical (but little empirical) support is increased risk of night-time predation, due to reduced vigilance and lower escape speed in hypothermic birds. This idea has never been tested in the wild. We, therefore, increased perceived predation risk in great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) roosting in nest boxes during cold winter nights to measure any resultant effect on their use of night-time hypothermia...
January 3, 2019: Oecologia
Alex Grendelmeier, Raphaël Arlettaz, Gilberto Pasinelli
Resource pulses such as mast seeding in temperate forests may affect interspecific interactions over multiple trophic levels and link different seed and nonseed consumers directly via predation or indirectly via shared predators. However, the nature and strength of interactions among species remain unknown for most resource pulse-driven ecosystems. We considered five hypotheses concerning the influence of resource pulses on the interactions between rodents, predators, and bird reproduction with data from northern Switzerland collected between 2010 and 2015...
December 2018: Ecology and Evolution
James H Marden, José Freiner Perez Carillo
Caterpillars and adults of a variety of butterflies and moths have eye-like spots (Janzen et al. 2010) that deter potential predators (Stevens et al. 2007, Blut et al. 2012, Hossie and Sherratt 2013) or deflect attacks to less-vital body parts (Vallin et al. 2011). Observations of how eyespots affect animal interactions in natural settings are extremely rare, and although experimental studies have consistently shown anti-predator effects, it remains uncertain if eyes cause mistaken identity of a dangerous animal or function by other mechanisms not involving mistaken perception of eyes (Stevens and Ruxton 2014)...
December 12, 2018: Ecology
Federico De Pascalis, Philip M Collins, Jonathan A Green
Marine ecosystems are heavily influenced by a wide range of human-related impacts, and thus monitoring is essential to preserve and manage these sensitive habitats. Seabirds are considered important bioindicators of the oceans, but accessing breeding populations can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. New technologies have been employed to facilitate data collection on seabirds that can reduce costs and minimize disturbance. Among these, the use of time-lapse photography is a potentially effective way to reduce researcher effort, while collecting valuable information on key ecological parameters...
2018: PloS One
Ludwig Stenz, Daniel S Schechter, Sandra Rusconi Serpa, Ariane Paoloni-Giacobino
Early life stress in humans (i.e. maltreatment, violence exposure, loss of a loved one) and in rodents (i.e. disrupted attachment or nesting, electric shock, restraint, predator odor) occurs during critical steps of neural circuit formation. ELS in humans is associated with increased risk for developmental psychopathology, including anxious and depressive phenotypes. The biological mechanisms underlying these potentially persistent maladaptive changes involve long-term epigenetic modifications, which have been suggested to be potentially transmissible to subsequent generations...
December 2018: Current Genomics
Abby Basya Finkelstein, Gro V Amdam
Eusocial insects divide their labour so that individuals working inside the nest are affected by external conditions through a cascade of social interactions. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) transfer food and information via mouth-to-mouth social feeding, ie trophallaxis, a process known to be modulated by the rate of food flow at feeders and familiarity of food's scent. Little is understood about how aversive foraging conditions such as predation and con-specific competition affect trophallaxis. We hypothesized that aversive conditions have an impact on food transfer inside the colony...
December 10, 2018: Scientific Reports
Jere Tolvanen, Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, Mikko Mönkkönen, Robert L Thomson, Hannu Ylönen, Jukka T Forsman
BACKGROUND: Breeding site choice constitutes an important part of the species niche. Nest predation affects breeding site choice, and has been suggested to drive niche segregation and local coexistence of species. Interspecific social information use may, in turn, result in copying or rejection of heterospecific niche characteristics and thus affect realized niche overlap between species. We tested experimentally whether a migratory bird, the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, collects information about nest predation risk from indirect cues of predators visiting nests of heterospecific birds...
December 4, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Robert Heinsohn, George Olah, Matthew Webb, Rod Peakall, Dejan Stojanovic
Sex-biased mortality can lead to altered adult sex ratios (ASRs), which may in turn lead to harassment and lower fitness of the rarer sex and changes in the mating system. Female critically endangered swift parrots (Lathamus discolor) suffer high predation while nesting due to an introduced mammalian predator, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps). High predation on females is causing severe population decline alongside strongly biased adult sex ratios (≥73% male). Our 6-year study showed that 50.5% of critically endangered swift parrot nests had shared paternity although the birds remained socially monogamous...
December 3, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Mack W Frantz, Petra B Wood, George T Merovich
We related Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) demographic response and nest survival to benthic macroinvertebrate aquatic prey and to shale gas development parameters using models that accounted for both spatial and non-spatial sources of variability in a Central Appalachian USA watershed. In 2013, aquatic prey density and pollution intolerant genera (i.e., pollution tolerance value <4) decreased statistically with increased waterthrush territory length but not in 2014 when territory densities were lower...
2018: PloS One
Konrad Leniowski, Ewa Węgrzyn
Because parental care is costly, conflict between mates over their roles in reproduction seems unavoidable unless they both benefit from parental labour split equally between partners. In the current paper we analyse the division of parental investment in the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), a species that experiences high nest predation. We show that both sexes invest in the incubation of eggs as well as feeding and brooding nestlings at a similar level. We also found that pairs which divided feeding duties more equally produced nestlings that grew faster...
2018: PloS One
Liam Dowling, Frances Bonier
Flight initiation distance (FID)-the distance at which an individual leaves in response to the approach of a perceived threat-provides a measurement of risk-taking behavior. If individuals optimize their FID, this distance should reflect the point at which the fitness resulting from leaving exceeds the fitness resulting from all other possible decisions. Previous theory of FID has often been aimed at explaining this behavior in foraging individuals. Yet flight initiation in response to approaching threats occurs in a range of contexts that might influence optimal behavior...
2018: PloS One
James J Roper, André M X Lima, Angélica M K Uejima
Food limitation may interact with nest predation and influence nesting patterns, such as breeding season length and renesting intervals. If so, reproductive effort should change with food availability. Thus, when food is limited, birds should have fewer attempts and shorter seasons than when food is not limiting. Here we experimentally test that increased food availability results in increased reproductive effort in a fragmented landscape in the Variable Antshrike ( Thamnophilus caerulescens ) in southern Brazil...
2018: PeerJ
Vojtěch Kubelka, Miroslav Šálek, Pavel Tomkovich, Zsolt Végvári, Robert P Freckleton, Tamás Székely
Ongoing climate change is thought to disrupt trophic relationships, with consequences for complex interspecific interactions, yet the effects of climate change on species interactions are poorly understood, and such effects have not been documented at a global scale. Using a single database of 38,191 nests from 237 populations, we found that shorebirds have experienced a worldwide increase in nest predation over the past 70 years. Historically, there existed a latitudinal gradient in nest predation, with the highest rates in the tropics; however, this pattern has been recently reversed in the Northern Hemisphere, most notably in the Arctic...
November 9, 2018: Science
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