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Functionally specialised birds respond flexibly to seasonal changes in fruit availability.
J Anim Ecol 2017; 86(4):800-811JA

Abstract

Interactions between resource and consumer species result in complex ecological networks. The overall structure of these networks is often stable in space and time, but little is known about the temporal stability of the functional roles of consumer species in these networks. We used a trait-based approach to investigate whether consumers (frugivorous birds) show similar degrees of functional specialisation on resources (plants) in ecological networks across seasons. We additionally tested whether closely related bird species have similar degrees of functional specialisation and whether birds that are functionally specialised on specific resource types within a season are flexible in switching to other resource types in other seasons. We analysed four seasonal replicates of two species-rich plant-frugivore networks from the tropical Andes. To quantify fruit preferences of frugivorous birds, we projected their interactions with plants into a multidimensional plant trait space. To measure functional specialisation of birds, we calculated a species' functional niche breadth (the extent of seasonal plant trait space utilised by a particular bird) and functional originality (the extent to which a bird species' fruit preference functionally differs from those of other species in a seasonal network). We additionally calculated functional flexibility, i.e. the ability of bird species to change their fruit preference across seasons in response to variation in plant resources. Functional specialisation of bird species varied more among species than across seasons, and phylogenetically similar bird species showed similar degrees of functional niche breadth (phylogenetic signal λ = 0·81) and functional originality (λ = 0·89). Additionally, we found that birds with high functional flexibility across seasons had narrow functional niche breadth and high functional originality per season, suggesting that birds that are seasonally specialised on particular resources are most flexible in switching to other fruit resources across seasons. The high flexibility of functionally specialised bird species to switch seasonally to other resources challenges the view that consumer species rely on functionally similar resources throughout the year. This flexibility of consumer species may be an important, but widely neglected mechanism that could potentially stabilise consumer-resource networks in response to human disturbance and environmental change.

Authors+Show Affiliations

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. Institute of Biology, Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108, Halle, Germany. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt (Main), Germany.Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam, POSTBUS 94248, 1090 GE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt (Main), Germany. Institute for Ecology, Evolution & Diversity, Goethe University Frankfurt, Biologicum, Max von Laue Str. 13, 60439, Frankfurt (Main), Germany.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. Institute of Biology, Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108, Halle, Germany.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. Institute of Biology, Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108, Halle, Germany. Department Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Theodor-Lieser-Straβe 4, 06120, Halle, Germany.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. Department Ecological Modelling, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Permoserstraβe 15, 04318, Leipzig, Germany.Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt (Main), Germany. Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand.Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt (Main), Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28493450

Citation

Bender, Irene M A., et al. "Functionally Specialised Birds Respond Flexibly to Seasonal Changes in Fruit Availability." The Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 86, no. 4, 2017, pp. 800-811.
Bender IMA, Kissling WD, Böhning-Gaese K, et al. Functionally specialised birds respond flexibly to seasonal changes in fruit availability. J Anim Ecol. 2017;86(4):800-811.
Bender, I. M. A., Kissling, W. D., Böhning-Gaese, K., Hensen, I., Kühn, I., Wiegand, T., ... Schleuning, M. (2017). Functionally specialised birds respond flexibly to seasonal changes in fruit availability. The Journal of Animal Ecology, 86(4), pp. 800-811. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12683.
Bender IMA, et al. Functionally Specialised Birds Respond Flexibly to Seasonal Changes in Fruit Availability. J Anim Ecol. 2017;86(4):800-811. PubMed PMID: 28493450.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Functionally specialised birds respond flexibly to seasonal changes in fruit availability. AU - Bender,Irene M A, AU - Kissling,W Daniel, AU - Böhning-Gaese,Katrin, AU - Hensen,Isabell, AU - Kühn,Ingolf, AU - Wiegand,Thorsten, AU - Dehling,D Matthias, AU - Schleuning,Matthias, Y1 - 2017/05/10/ PY - 2016/11/29/received PY - 2017/02/23/accepted PY - 2017/5/12/pubmed PY - 2018/1/6/medline PY - 2017/5/12/entrez KW - avian frugivory KW - bipartite network KW - fleshy-fruited plants KW - fruiting phenology KW - functional diversity KW - plant-animal mutualism KW - resource specialisation KW - seasonal variability KW - trait matching KW - trophic interactions SP - 800 EP - 811 JF - The Journal of animal ecology JO - J Anim Ecol VL - 86 IS - 4 N2 - Interactions between resource and consumer species result in complex ecological networks. The overall structure of these networks is often stable in space and time, but little is known about the temporal stability of the functional roles of consumer species in these networks. We used a trait-based approach to investigate whether consumers (frugivorous birds) show similar degrees of functional specialisation on resources (plants) in ecological networks across seasons. We additionally tested whether closely related bird species have similar degrees of functional specialisation and whether birds that are functionally specialised on specific resource types within a season are flexible in switching to other resource types in other seasons. We analysed four seasonal replicates of two species-rich plant-frugivore networks from the tropical Andes. To quantify fruit preferences of frugivorous birds, we projected their interactions with plants into a multidimensional plant trait space. To measure functional specialisation of birds, we calculated a species' functional niche breadth (the extent of seasonal plant trait space utilised by a particular bird) and functional originality (the extent to which a bird species' fruit preference functionally differs from those of other species in a seasonal network). We additionally calculated functional flexibility, i.e. the ability of bird species to change their fruit preference across seasons in response to variation in plant resources. Functional specialisation of bird species varied more among species than across seasons, and phylogenetically similar bird species showed similar degrees of functional niche breadth (phylogenetic signal λ = 0·81) and functional originality (λ = 0·89). Additionally, we found that birds with high functional flexibility across seasons had narrow functional niche breadth and high functional originality per season, suggesting that birds that are seasonally specialised on particular resources are most flexible in switching to other fruit resources across seasons. The high flexibility of functionally specialised bird species to switch seasonally to other resources challenges the view that consumer species rely on functionally similar resources throughout the year. This flexibility of consumer species may be an important, but widely neglected mechanism that could potentially stabilise consumer-resource networks in response to human disturbance and environmental change. SN - 1365-2656 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28493450/Functionally_specialised_birds_respond_flexibly_to_seasonal_changes_in_fruit_availability_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12683 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -