25.08.2019

25 October - Lecture: Maternal Investment Strategies of a Cooperative Breeding Forest Specialist in Degraded Cloud Forest Fragments

Dr. Beate Apfelbeck will give a guest lecture on the topic of "Maternal investment strategies of a cooperative breeding forest specialist in degraded cloud forest fragments" at 14:00 on 25 October, 2019, in the Hörsaal 413 of the NW-Faculty. The Department of Life Sciences invites you to attend!

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes

Dr. Apfelbeck ist Senior Scientist in der AG Habel, Fachbereich Biowissenschaften an der Universität Salzburg.

Abstract:
In many tropical areas one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss is the degradation and fragmentation of pristine habitats. Different species cope differently with environmental stressors and some survive better than others. In cooperatively breeding species, subordinates provide extra care and/or protect a brood against predators. Breeding females of these species can apply multiple pre- and post-hatching strategies to optimize the trade-off between current and future reproduction. Such female behavioural plasticity may buffer natural variation in critical resources and thus in habitat quality. For instance, investment in offspring can be increased under harsh conditions, or alternatively, decreased when times are benign to benefit the breeding female. To what extent human-induced environmental change may trigger plastic maternal strategies in cooperative breeders, however, remains unclear. We study how habitat fragmentation affects breeding behavior, i.e. egg investment and nestling provisioning, and reproductive success, i.e. fledging success, of wild populations of Placid Greenbuls (Phyllastrephus placidus) - a forest specialist bird species that breeds in the cloud forest remnants of the Taita Hills of Kenya that are part of the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot. We study different populations of greenbuls that live in forest fragments varying in habitat size and quality ranging from large, undisturbed to small degraded patches. We hypothesize that females adjust their investment in eggs and nestlings depending on number of helpers and habitat quality. Thereby cooperative breeding may mitigate the negative effects of habitat degradation.

After the seminar (ca. 16:00 h), everybody is welcome to join us for drinks and munchies in the „coffee corner on the second floor“.

Dr. Beate Apfelbeck

Senior Scientist, AG Habel

Universität Salzburg

Hellbrunnerstrasse 34

Tel: -

E-mail to Dr. Beate Apfelbeck

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