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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


VAZQUEZ, M. Soledad  and  FARJI-BRENER, Alejandro G. Do shrub thorns protect bird nests against predation?: An experimental analysis in the Patagonian steppe. Ecol. austral [online]. 2018, vol.28, n.3, pp.496-501. ISSN 1667-782X.

Nest predation is one of the most important selection pressures for birds; so, the choice of nesting site is key to chick survival. We experimentally evaluated if the presence of thorns in shrubs contributes to the protection against nest predation. The work was developed near the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, in a Patagonian steppe environment. We placed artificial nests on rose mosqueta shrubs, experimentally varying the density of thorns, and on shrubs naturally free of thorns. The general predation rate was around 90% and was not affected by the density of thorns. Possible causes of the selection of thorny shrubs as nesting sites are discussed.

Keywords : Artificial nests; Passeriforms; Microhabitat; Patagonian steppe.

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