Turnover in animal species along vegetation gradients is often assumed to reflect adaptive habitat preferences that are narrower than the full gradient. Specifically, animals may decline in abundance where their reproductive success is low, and these poor-quality locations differ among species. Yet habitat use does not always appear adaptive. The crucial tests of how abundances and demographic costs of animals vary along experimentally manipulated vegetation gradients are lacking. We examined habitat use and nest predation rates for 16 bird species that exhibited turnover with shifts in deciduous and coniferous vegetation. For most bird species, decreasing abundance was associated with increasing predation rates along both natural and experimentally modified vegetation gradients. This landscape-scale approach strongly supports the idea that vegetation-mediated effects of predation are associated with animal distributions and species turnover.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Bird species turnover is related to changing predation risk along a vegetation gradient|
|Publisher||Ecological Society of America|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Seattle|