“Cavity-nesting makes flycatchers fecund and fly farther” — May 28, 2014, Bangalore

  • On:
    May 28, 2014
  • Timing:
    15:00 to 18:00
  • Location:
    CES Seminar Hall
  • City:
  • Website

Centre for Ecological Sciences Indian Institute of Science hosts a talk.

Title: Cavity-nesting makes flycatchers fecund and fly farther: evolutionary links between cavity nesting, clutch size and migration in the  Muscicapidae.

Speaker:  Sahas Barve, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

Abstract: The ecology of cavity nesting in passerine birds has been studied extensively. Yet there are no phylogenetic comparative studies that quantify differences in life history traits between cavity and open-nesting birds in a passerine family. Here we test existing hypotheses regarding the evolutionary significance of cavity nesting in the Old World flycatchers (Family: Muscicapidae). We inferred a multi-locus phylogeny of 246 species, which we subsequently used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of cavity nesting and quantify correlations between nest types and specific life history traits. Within a phylogenetic generalized linear model framework, we found that maximum clutch size is larger in cavity-nesting lineages.
Moreover, cavity nesting species are larger than open nesting species in high latitudes. Finally, we found that gains and losses of migratory behavior occur far more often in cavity-nesting lineages than open-nesting taxa, suggesting that cavity nesting may have played a crucial role in the evolution of migratory behavior. Together, these findings suggest that there are important macroevolutionary links between the evolution of cavity nesting, clutch size, interspecific competition and migratory behavior in a large clade of songbirds, the Old World flycatchers.

Speaker Bio: Sahas Barve is 3rd year PhD student at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. He is currently studying the determinants of elevational distribution in Himalayan birds. He has a Master’s in Wildlife Sciences from the Wildlife Institute of India (2009) and a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Mumbai University (2007). He is a birder and his broad research interests include community ecology, trait evolution and biogeography.

Coffee/Tea: After the talk


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