Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Montana Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Montana Wildlife Project

Factors affecting demography of songbirds in tropical rainforests

January 2009 - March 2021


Participating Agencies

  • National Science Foundation

The ecological consequences of climate change have focused on effects of temperature and ignored the effects of rain. Yet, rainfall also is changing. Lab studies have demonstrated that wetting increases thermal conductance and energy expenditure of adult and juvenile endotherms, and rain may constrain foraging (energy acquisition). Any such energy constraints may be particularly significant when parents are trying to meet the needs of growing offspring, such that rain may play a critical role in demography and adaptive trait evolution of endotherms during reproduction. This may be particularly important in tropical rainforests where rain is prevalent, thermal tolerances are narrow, and temperatures are below thermoneutral levels. In response, animals may have evolved behavioral strategies and nest structures (enclosed vs open nests) to affect exposure to rain. Studies of the effects of rainfall on energetics and behavior across diverse species and nest types are lacking

Research Publications Publication Date
Şahin Arslan, N. and T. E. Martin. 2018. Reproductive biology of Grey-breasted Wood Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys): A comparative study of tropical and temperate wrens. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 131: 1-11. March 2019
Ton, R., and T. E. Martin. 2019. Nest Predation and Adult Mortality Relationships with Post-natal Metabolic Rates and Growth among Temperate and Tropical Songbirds. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: doi: 10.1242/jeb.226563. | Abstract September 2020
Ton, R, and T. E. Martin. 2017. Proximate effects of temperature versus evolved intrinsic constraints for embryonic development times among temperate and tropical songbirds. Scientific Reports 7(1), 895. April 2017
Slevin, M. C., E. E. Bin Soudi, and T. E. Martin. 2020. Breeding Biology of Mountain Wren-Babbler (Gypsophila crassus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 132(1):124-133. January 2020
Oteyza, J. C., J. C. Mouton, and T. E. Martin. 2021. Adult survival probability and body size affect parental risk-taking across latitudes. Ecology Letters 24:20-26. January 2021
Mouton, J. C., and T. E. Martin. 2019. Nest structure affects auditory and visual detectability, but not predation risk, in a tropical songbird community. Functional Ecology 33:1973–1981. October 2019
Martin, T. E., R. Ton, and J. C. Oteyza. 2018. Adaptive influence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on variation of incubation periods among tropical and temperate passerines. Auk 135: 101-113. January 2018
Martin, T. E., M. M. Riordan, R. Repin, J. C. Mouton, and W. M. Blake. 2017. Apparent annual survival estimates of tropical songbirds better reflect life history variation when based on intensive field methods. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26:1386–1397. December 2017
Martin, T. E., A. J. Boyce, K. Fierro-Calderón, A. E. Mitchell, C. E. Armstad, J. Mouton, and E. E. Bin Soudi. 2017. Do enclosed nests provide greater thermal than nest predation benefits compared with open nests across latitudes? Functional Ecology 31: 1231-1240. August 2017
Martin, T. E. and J. C. Mouton. 2020. Longer-lived tropical songbirds reduce breeding activity as they buffer impacts of drought. Nature Climate Change 10: September 2020
Kaiser, S. A., T. E. Martin, J. C. Oteyza, C. Armstad, and R. C. Fleischer. 2018. Direct fitness benefits and kinship of social foraging groups in an Old World tropical babbler. Behavioral Ecology 29: 468-478. March 2018
Boyce, A. J. and T. E. Martin. 2018. Interspecific aggression among parapatric and sympatric songbirds on a tropical elevational gradient. Behavioral Ecology 30: 541-547. March 2019
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Ton, R. 2016. Ecological and physiological influences on altricial bird growth and development. PhD degree, University of Montana. 110 pages. May 2016
Oteyza, J. C. 2016. Age-specific mortality and its influence on parental care and offspring behaviors. PhD Degree, University of Montana. 127 pages. December 2016
Mouton, J. C. 2019. Developmental, ecological, and life history influences on predator-induced plasticity in songbirds. PhD degree, University of Montana. 135 pages. December 2019
Boyce, A. J. 2018. Biotic and abiotic influences on the evolution of elevational range limts and life-history strategies of tropical birds. PhD degree, University of Montana. 131 pages. May 2018