Profile Details
Samuel Jones
PhD Research
Biodiversity and Ecology

Exploring the roles and consequences of physiological tolerance and interspecific aggression in avian species replacement in tropical mountains.

Species turnovers in tropical mountains, where highly related species ‘replace’ one another with increasing altitude and often do not co-occur, have been widely documented in many taxa, and particularly birds. Traditional theory predicted that these patterns have developed as a result of tolerance to elevation-specific local climates, while more recent experimental work has shown that aggression between replacement species (interspecific aggression) likely plays a role in controlling their distributions. Not all species are equally aggressive to one another, however, with some species exhibiting behavioural dominance over their higher or lower elevation counterpart. Studying the elevational species turnovers particularly in Nightingale-thrushes (Catharus sp.) in different mountain scenarios in Central America, my research aims to better understand the physiological basis of this turnover and the subsequent behavioural consequences both between and within species.
Steve Portugal
Robin Freeman
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