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  1. Abstract

    The relationships between avian brood parasites and their hosts are widely recognised as model systems for studying coevolution. However, while most brood parasites are known to parasitise multiple species of host and hosts are often subject to parasitism by multiple brood parasite species, the examination of multispecies interactions remains rare. Here, we compile data on all known brood parasite–host relationships and find that complex brood parasite–host systems, where multiple species of brood parasites and hosts coexist and interact, are globally commonplace. By examining patterns of past research, we outline the disparity between patterns of network complexity and past research emphases and discuss factors that may be associated with these patterns. Drawing on insights gained from other systems that have embraced a multispecies framework, we highlight the potential benefits of considering brood parasite–host interactions as ecological networks and brood parasitism as a model system for studying multispecies interactions. Overall, our results provide new insights into the diversity of these relationships, highlight the stark mismatch between past research efforts and global patterns of network complexity, and draw attention to the opportunities that more complex arrangements offer for examining how species interactions shape global patterns of biodiversity.

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  2. Abstract Aim

    Island biotas face an array of unique challenges under global change. Monitoring and research efforts, however, have been hindered by the large number of islands, their broad distribution and geographical isolation. Global citizen‐science initiatives have the potential to address these deficiencies. Here, we determine how the eBird citizen‐science programme is currently sampling island bird assemblages annually and how these patterns are developing over time.






    We compiled occurrence information of non‐marine bird species across the world's islands (n = 21,813) over an 18‐year period (2002–2019) from eBird. We estimated annual survey completeness and species richness across islands, which we examined in relation to six geographical and four climatic features.


    eBird contained bird occurrence information forca. 20% of the world's islands (n = 4,205) withca. 8% classified as well surveyed annually (n = 1,644). eBird participants tended to survey larger islands that were more distant from the mainland. These islands had lower proximity to other islands and contained a broader range of elevations. Temperature, precipitation and temperature seasonality were at intermediate levels. Precipitation seasonality was at low and intermediate levels. Islands located between 10 and 60° N latitude and 20 and 40° S latitude were overrepresented, and islands located in Southeast Asia were underrepresented. From 2002 to 2019, the number of islands surveyed annually increased byca. 96.4 islands/year. During this period, island size decreased, distance from mainland did not change, proximity to other islands increased and elevation range decreased.

    Main conclusions

    The eBird programme tends to survey larger islands containing intermediate climates that are more isolated from the mainland and other islands. These findings provide a framework to support the informed application of the eBird database in avian island biogeography. Our findings emphasize citizen science as an empirical resource to support long‐term ecological research, conservation and monitoring efforts across remote regions of the globe.

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  3. Storch, David (Ed.)
  4. Abstract

    Global loss of biodiversity has placed new urgency on the need to understand factors regulating species response to rapid environmental change. While specialists are often less resilient to rapid environmental change than generalists, species‐level analyses may obscure the extent of specialization when locally adapted populations vary in climate tolerances. Until recently, quantification of the degree of climate specialization in migratory birds below the species level was hindered by a lack of genomic and tracking information, but recent technological advances have helped to overcome these barriers. Here we take a genome‐wide genetic approach to mapping population‐specific migratory routes and quantifying niche breadth within genetically distinct populations of a migratory bird, the willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), which exhibits variation in the severity of population declines across its breeding range. While our sample size is restricted to the number of genetically distinct populations within the species, our results support the idea that locally adapted populations of the willow flycatcher with narrow climatic niches across seasons are already federally listed as endangered or in steep decline, while populations with broader climatic niches have remained stable in recent decades. Overall, this work highlights the value of quantifying niche breadth within genetically distinct groups across time and space when attempting to understand the factors that facilitate or constrain the response of locally adapted populations to rapid environmental change.

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