Effects of mast seeding on forest bird communities

Forest habitats are frequently characterized by synchronized and intermittent production of a large seed crop (mast seeding). These “resource pulses” trigger a cascade of direct and indirect effects that permeate throughout forest ecosystems and have critical consequences for forest communities, including birds. We investigate how ecological and life-history traits affect the way birds respond to mast seeding, and how mast seeding affects nest predation in forest songbirds.


PI: Jakub Szymkowiak

Co-investigators: Michał Bogdziewicz, Lechosław Kuczyński

Duration: 2016 – to date

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Selected publications

Szymkowiak J., Thomson R.L. 2019. Nest predator avoidance during habitat selection of a songbird varies with mast peaks and troughs. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 73:91, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2702-z

Szymkowiak J., Kuczyński L. 2015. Avoiding predators in a fluctuating environment: responses of the wood warbler to pulsed resources. Behavioral Ecology, 26: 601-608, DOI: 10.1093/beheco/aru237