Wie reagieren Waldspezialisten in tropischen Regenwäldern auf Habitatfragmentierung und Zerstörung? Eine Untersuchung zum Brutverhalten, Bruterfolg und zur Stressphysiologie eines tropischen Waldvogels (ANTHROBIRD)



Variation in environmental conditions across habitats has led to variation in life histories between species. To successfully reproduce and survive, an animal’s physiology, morphology and behaviour needs to be tuned to the environmental conditions of their habitat. Habitat fragmentation and degradation rapidly change abiotic and biotic properties of the environment and may, thereby, disrupt the balance between life history traits. Especially in tropical areas – where species biodiversity, but also human population pressure, are highest - many pristine areas have been fragmented and degraded in the last decades. This study examines how fragmentation and degradation of the cloud forests of the Taita Hills, a biodiversity hotspot in Kenya, affects investment into reproduction in a tropical forest specialist, Phyllastrephus placidus, by studying endocrinology (in particular the “stress” hormone corticosterone), immunology, body condition, parental behaviour and reproductive success concomitantly in the same individuals. The bird community of the Taita Hills has been studied extensively for many years and offers a unique framework to study life history evolution and habitat change in a wild tropical population. Because of their different life history - low fecundity, but long lifespan - tropical species can be expected to respond differently to habitat change than temperate species, which have been the focus of most studies on the effects of anthropogenic change on animal populations so far. Thus, the results of this study will make a major contribution to our understanding of life history evolution, in particular the role of corticosterone and the immune system as mediators of life history trade-offs under habitat change
Tatsächlicher Beginn/ -es Ende1/01/2030/06/22