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T.E. Martin

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Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous...
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We document reproductive life history traits of the Three-striped Warbler (Basileuterus tristriatus) from 146 nests in Venezuela and compare our results to data from the literature for other tropical and temperate parulid species. Mean (?? SE) clutch size was 1.96 ?? 0.03 eggs (n = 96) and fresh egg mass was 2.09 ?? 0.02 g. The incubation period was 15.8 ?? 0.2 days (n = 23) and the nestling period was 10.5 ?? 0.3 days (n = 12). Males did not incubate and rarely provided food for females during incubation. Females had 57 ?? 2% (n = 49) nest attentiveness (% of time on the nest incubating), which caused egg temperature to commonly become cold relative to development. Both adults fed nestlings and feeding rates increased...
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We present the first detailed information on the breeding biology of the Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chrysops). Information was gathered from 96 nests in Yacamb National Park, Venezuela during the 2002 to 2008 breeding seasons. The enclosed nest was similar to descriptions of nests of other species in the genus. Eggs were laid on alternate days with mean (?? SE) clutch size of 1.98 ?? 0.02 (n 45) and fresh weight of 1.616 ?? 0.020 g (n 48). Only the female incubated and the incubation period averaged 16.9 ?? 0.3 days (n 10). Nest attentiveness ( time on the nest) averaged 66.0 ?? 1.6 (n 40) and increased from early to mid- and late-incubation. Incubation behavior yielded an average 24-hr egg temperature of...
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The consequences of climate change for ecosystem structure and function remain largely unknown. Here, I examine the ability of climate variation to explain long-term changes in bird and plant populations, as well as trophic interactions in a high-elevation riparian system in central Arizona, USA, based on 20 years of study. Abundances of dominant deciduous trees have declined dramatically over the 20 years, correlated with a decline in overwinter snowfall. Snowfall can affect overwinter presence of elk, whose browsing can significantly impact deciduous tree abundance. Thus, climate may affect the plant community indirectly through effects on herbivores, but may also act directly by influencing water availability...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Choice of breeding habitat can have a major impact on fitness. Sensitivity of habitat choice to environmental cues predicting reproductive success, such as density of harmful enemy species, should be favored by natural selection. Yet, experimental tests of this idea are in short supply. Brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater commonly reduce reproductive success of a wide diversity of birds by parasitizing their nests. We used song playbacks to simulate high cowbird density and tested whether cowbird hosts avoid such areas in habitat selection. Host species that made settlement decisions during manipulations were significantly less abundant in the cowbird treatment as a group. In contrast, hosts that settled before...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Oikos
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