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

Rivera-López, Anayani, MacGregor-Fors, Ian
Urban ecosystems 2016 v.19 no.2 pp. 649-655
biodiversity, birds, case studies, ecosystems, habitats, landscapes, nesting, nests, predation, predators, survival rate, tropics, urban areas, urbanization
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.