Living in the city: Resource availability, predation, and bird population dynamics in urban areas

John Anderies, Madhusudan Katti, Eyal Shochat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores factors that shape population structure in novel environments that have received scant theoretical attention: cities. Urban bird populations exhibit higher densities and lower diversity. Some work suggests this may result from lower predation pressure and more predictable and abundant resources. These factors may lead to populations with few winners and many losers regarding access to food, body condition, and reproductive success. We explore these hypotheses with an individual-energy-based competition model with two phenotypes of differing foraging ability. We show that low frequency resource fluctuations favor strong competitors and vice versa. We show that low predation skews equilibrium populations in favor of weak competitors and vice versa. Increasing the time between resource pulses can thus shift population structure from weak to strong competitor dominance. Given recent evidence for more constant resource input and lower predation in urban areas, the model helps understand observed urban bird population structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume247
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2007

Fingerprint

Population dynamics
Urban Areas
Population Dynamics
Birds
Population Structure
urban areas
population structure
population dynamics
Availability
predation
Resources
Urban Population
birds
Population
Competition Model
body condition
Foraging
Phenotype
foraging
Skew

Keywords

  • Birds
  • Population dynamics
  • Predation
  • Resource dynamics
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Living in the city : Resource availability, predation, and bird population dynamics in urban areas. / Anderies, John; Katti, Madhusudan; Shochat, Eyal.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 247, No. 1, 07.07.2007, p. 36-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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