Bird species turnover is related to changing predation risk along a vegetation gradient

Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

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 type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bird species turnover is related to changing predation risk along a vegetation gradient
Series title Ecology
DOI 10.1890/14-1333.1
Volume 96
Issue 6
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 11 p.
First page 1670
Last page 1680
Country United States
State Montana