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Physiological stress as a mechanism underlying the effects of forest logging on tropical birds: an experimental approach.

A key driver of land-use changes in tropical areas is commercial logging. Recent assessments of biodiversity have shown that there is a decrease of biodiversity in logged tropical forests, but also that there is large variation in how species are affected, indicating that some species are more vulnerable to logging than others. An important question then is which traits affect the species' capability to persist in degraded habitats. The answer to this might lie with the physiological mechanisms governing an organism's response to stressful stimuli. In this project, I will assess for the first time whether the capability to physiologically cope with stress is a mechanism driving the adaptive response of birds to the novel environmental conditions created by selective logging. To this end, I will carry out experimental investigations and comparative studies on birds in both unlogged (i.e., primary) and logged tropical forests of Borneo, a biodiversity hotspot severely impacted by selective logging. The complementary expertises of the (co-)promoters and the foreign collaborator and an established tropical field system with plots of both unlogged and logged forest guarantee the feasibility of my proposal.
Date:1 Oct 2016  →  30 Sep 2018
Disciplines:Animal biology
Project type:Collaboration project