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A Birds eye view - can decision theory and search image formation by seed-dispersing songbirds explain occurrence patterns of mistletoes?

Project Member(s): Leigh, A.

Start year: 2015

Summary: I have designed a set of observational and experimental studies to quantify foraging behaviour of birds and clarify their evolutionary role underlying the cryptic appearances of many mistletoe species. By conducting detailed observations into the foraging techniques of different bird species (both dietary specialists and generalist/opportunistic species) in two mistletoe/host combinations (cryptic and conspicuous) in different habitat types, I will make a series of informed statements about the potential role that seed dispersing birds play in the mistletoe/host relationship and the host range available to mistletoe species.

Publications:

Cook, ME, Leigh, A & Watson, DM, 'Hiding in plain sight: experimental evidence for birds as selective agents for host mimicry in mistletoes', Botany, pp. 1-7.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: mistletoe, seed-dispersal, birds

FOR Codes: Ecology, Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences, Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity