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Preprints, Working Papers, ... (Preprint) Year : 2023

Latitudinal gradient in avian insectivory: complementary effects of climate, habitat and bird diversity

Laura Schillé
Frédéric Archaux
Mona Chor Bjørn
Thomas Boivin
Maarten de Groot
Jovan Dobrosavljević
Samantha Green
Maria Faticov
Elisabeth Flury
  • Function : Author
David Funosas
Sofia Gripenberg
Lucian Grosu
  • Function : Author
Arndt Hampe
Deborah Harvey
Rick Houston
  • Function : Author
Rita Isenmann
  • Function : Author
Andreja Kavčič
Mikhail V Kozlov
Vojtech Lanta
Bénédicte Le Tilly
  • Function : Author
Anders Mårell
Slobodan Milanović
Márton Molnár
  • Function : Author
Valentin Moser
Anna Mrazova
Dmitrii L Musolin
Thomas Perot
Andrea Piotti
Anna V Popova
  • Function : Author
Andreas Prinzing
Ludmila Pukinskaya
  • Function : Author
Aurélien Sallé
Katerina Sam
Nickolay V Sedikhin
Tanja Shabarova
Ayco Tack
Rebecca Thomas
Karthik Thrikkadeeri
Dragoș Toma
Grete Vaicaityte
  • Function : Author
Inge van Halder
Zulema Varela
Luc Barbaro


According to the Latitudinal Biotic Interaction Hypothesis (LBIH), the general increase in biodiversity towards lower latitudes can be partially explained by an increase in the intensity of biotic interactions. While LBIH received some support for plant-herbivores interactions, much less is known about how higher trophic levels may contribute to shape biotic interactions across latitudinal gradients. We hypothesized that the diversity of insectivorous birds increases towards lower latitude, leading to higher predation rates on insect herbivores. Location Europe. Taxon Insectivorous birds and pedunculate oaks. Methods We deployed plasticine caterpillars in 138 oak trees in 47 sites along a 19° latitudinal gradient in Europe to quantify bird insectivory through predation attempts. In addition, we used passive acoustic monitoring to (i) characterize the acoustic diversity of surrounding soundscapes; and (ii) infer both taxonomic and functional diversity of insectivorous birds from recordings. Results The functional diversity of insectivorous birds increased towards lower latitude. Bird predation increased with latitude, forest cover and bird acoustic diversity but decreased with mean annual temperature and functional richness of insectivorous birds. Contrary to our predictions, latitudinal clines in bird predation attempts were not directly mediated by changes in insectivorous bird diversity or acoustic diversity, but latitude and habitat still had independent effects on predation attempts. Main conclusions Our study does not fully support the predictions of the LBIH of more biotic interactions southwards and advocates for better accounting for activity and abundance of insectivorous birds when studying the large-scale variation in insect-tree interactions.
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hal-04169153 , version 1 (23-07-2023)




Laura Schillé, Elena Valdés-Correcher, Frédéric Archaux, Flavius Bălăcenoiu, Mona Chor Bjørn, et al.. Latitudinal gradient in avian insectivory: complementary effects of climate, habitat and bird diversity. 2023. ⟨hal-04169153⟩
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