May 3 2018

5:00 pm 1100 TLSB

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Madeline Cowen
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

"Assessing the Ecological and Evolutionary Conditions of Interspecific Territoriality in Sister North American Songbirds"

Interspecific territoriality (IT) between closely related species can impact species abilities to coexist and to shift their distributions in response to climate change. Despite the pervasiveness of IT across taxonomic groups, the ecological circumstances associated with IT and whether it persists over time are still unknown. In this talk, I will present a study of North American songbirds (Order Passeriformes) aimed at determining which factors predict IT between sister species pairs. I conducted extensive literature and database searches to assess the contributions of phylogenetic history, morphological traits, competitor recognition traits, and hybridization to occurrence of IT. Phylogenetic distance is a strong predictor of interspecific territoriality, and preliminary results suggest that parapatric sister species that hybridize are more likely to be interspecifically territorial than hybridizing species with extensive breeding range overlap. These findings inform our understanding of an important behavioral phenomenon and have implications for predicting outcomes of novel species interactions due to climate change.

Thursday, May 3, 2018
1100 Terasaki Life Sciences Building (TLSB)











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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