Birds in the city: population trends and functional responses (contact Aimara Planillo)

Responses of migratory birds towards the urbanisation gradient (contact Aimara Planillo). We expect that residents start breeding earlier on in the season, especially in more urbanized areas, where the competition for nesting sites will be strongest.  We will work with a dataset that contains the species and breeding territories present at each of the 30 Berlin transects. Data analyses will consist of three main steps. First, to obtain the relevant information for the 30 transects of the monitoring program, extracting spatial information from GIS data. Second, a preliminary exploration of the environmental data and the bird data to understand the potential patterns and select the appropriate environmental variables for the analysis. Finally, the proxy for arrival times (number of visit) will be analyzed in relation to migratory status and to environmental variables using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM).

Functional traits of urban birds (contact Aimara Planillo). The project will focus on data from bird species in Berlin and analyze the relationship between functional traits (such as body size, diet preference or nest type) and environmental conditions in the urbanization gradient. The main objectives are: i) define species response to urbanization based on their functional traits (avoidance, tolerance, exploitation of urbanized areas); ii) identify the key species traits that determine species response to urbanization; iii) compare community composition in terms of functional traits in different sites of the urbanization gradient (rural – suburban – urban). Trait response to urbanization and trait diversity will be analyzed using multiple statistical techniques adequate for each question. Diversity analyses will be performed using Hill numbers, and traits responses to urbanization gradient will be analyzed by multivariate (multiresponse) analyses.

Population trends of birds inhabiting urban areas (contact Aimara Planillo). To assess population trends of different breeding birds it is essential to follow the birds´ breeding behaviour and abundance across several years. By comparing numbers of successive monitoring years within different monitoring periods (e.g. between 2000 – 2019) it is possible to look at recent developments of selected species. Using spatial data and General linear models we will analyze abundance patterns through the years and identity possible traits that allow species to flourish in urban habitats.