Urban predation: a case study assessing artificial nest survival in a neotropical city

Abstract

Nest predation is an important ecological driver that can mold avian communities. Previous studies performed in urban areas support both predatory relaxation and increases when assessing natural and artificial nest predation. In this study, we assessed artificial nest predation pressure in a neotropical city considering spatial and habitat traits. Our results show that artificial nest predation was driven by the interaction between location and urbanization intensity, with visual predators being responsible for most predation. This supports the notion that urban areas can act as landscape entities that filter biodiversity. Our study, showing both predation relaxation and intensification in the same urban system, suggests that nest predation dynamics can be diverse throughout urban areas. Thus, the predation paradox can occur in parallel with scenarios in which rises in predator numbers can actually decrease nest survivorship. Future studies investigating nest predation in urban areas should take into account the spatial environmental heterogeneity of their system in order to fully capture the patterns and biases related to nest predation.

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Acknowledgments

We are most grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions that enhanced the clarity and quality of our paper, as well as to Jeffrey G. Lee for proofreading the paper, and Richard Lemoine Rodríguez for help with GIS.

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Correspondence to Ian MacGregor-Fors.

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Rivera-López, A., MacGregor-Fors, I. Urban predation: a case study assessing artificial nest survival in a neotropical city. Urban Ecosyst 19, 649–655 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-015-0523-z

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Keywords

  • Bird nests
  • Predation paradox
  • Mexico
  • Nest survivorship
  • Urban ecology
  • Veracruz