Effects of mast seeding on nest predation on songbirds
PI: Jakub Szymkowiak
Co-investigators: Michał Bogdziewicz
Description: Mast peaks trigger a cascade of direct and indirect effects that permeate throughout forest ecosystems. In years with high acorn production, generalist consumers (e.g., rodents) are temporally released from food limitation and their populations grow rapidly the following year. However, mast seeding not only affects seed consumers but also a number of generalist predators that respond to increased rodent populations. This may cause temporal peaks in nest predation risk to songbirds. In this project, we investigate (1) how mast seeding affects nest predation on forest songbirds, and (2) whether rodent outbreaks following mast events cause temporal peaks in the threat that rodents pose as nest predators to ground-nesting passerines.
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