Talk at CES on 28 May 2014 at 8 pm titled "Cavity-nesting makes flycatchers fecund and fly farther: evolutionary links between cavity nesting, clutch size and migration in the Muscicapidae." by Sahas Barve from Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biolo
The ecology of cavity nesting in passerine birds has been
studied extensively. Yet there are no phylogenetic comparative studies
that quantify differences in life history traits between cavity and
open-nesting birds in a passerine family. Here we test existing
hypotheses regarding the evolutionary significance of cavity nesting
in the Old World flycatchers (Family: Muscicapidae). We inferred a
multi-locus phylogeny of 246 species, which we subsequently used to
reconstruct the evolutionary history of cavity nesting and quantify
correlations between nest types and specific life history traits.
Within a phylogenetic generalized linear model framework, we found
that maximum clutch size is larger in cavity-nesting lineages.
Moreover, cavity nesting species are larger than open nesting species
in high latitudes. Finally, we found that gains and losses of
migratory behavior occur far more often in cavity-nesting lineages
than open-nesting taxa, suggesting that cavity nesting may have played
a crucial role in the evolution of migratory behavior. Together, these
findings suggest that there are important macroevolutionary links
between the evolution of cavity nesting, clutch size, interspecific
competition and migratory behavior in a large clade of songbirds, the
Old World flycatchers.