Emilio Pagani-Núñez

Emilio Pagani-Núñez
Edinburgh Napier University · School of Applied Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

48
Publications
13,329
Reads
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432
Citations
Citations since 2017
31 Research Items
351 Citations
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Introduction
I'm a field ornithologist with broad interests in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. My research spans from individuals to species and communities. Lately, I’m becoming increasingly interested in the impact that human activities have on the ecology of wild species and in investigating ways in which these impacts can be minimized. My last two projects investigate the impact that habitat transformation has on niches of passerine communities and on the breeding ecology of Barn Swallows.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - October 2022
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Position
  • Assistant Professor
November 2016 - July 2019
Sun Yat-Sen University
Position
  • Research Associate
March 2015 - October 2016
Guangxi University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2011 - November 2014
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Biodiversity
September 2010 - July 2011
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Biodiversity
October 2001 - September 2007
University of Granada
Field of study
  • Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
Multidimensional approaches examining complex trait-niche relationships are crucial to understand community assembly. This is particularly important across habitat transformation gradients because specialists are progressively substituted by generalists and, despite increasing functional homogenization, in both specialist and generalist communities...
Article
Migratory divides are contact zones between breeding populations with divergent migratory strategies during the non‐breeding season. These locations provide an opportunity to evaluate the role of seasonal migration in the maintenance of reproductive isolation, particularly the relationship between population structure and features associated with d...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly disrupted academic activities, particularly in disciplines with a strong empirical component among other reasons by limiting our mobility. It is thus essential to assess emergency remote teaching plans by surveying learners’ opinions and perceptions during these unusual circumstances. To achieve this aim, we condu...
Article
Resolving trade-offs between economic development and biodiversity conservation needs is crucial in currently developing countries and in particularly sensitive systems harboring high biodiversity. Yet, such a task is challenging because human activities have complex effects on biodiversity. We assessed the effects of intense economic development o...
Article
Full-text available
In addition to landscape changes, urbanization also brings about changes in environmental factors that can affect wildlife. Despite the common referral in the published literature to multiple environmental factors such as light and noise pollution, there is a gap in knowledge about their combined impact. We developed a multidimensional environmenta...
Article
Full-text available
Aposematic organisms defend themselves through various means to increase their unprofitability to predators which they advertise with conspicuous warning signals. Predators learn to avoid aposematic prey through associative learning that leads to lower predation. However, when these visual signals become unreliable (e.g., through automimicry or Bat...
Article
Full-text available
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2021.777175/full Asia is a land of contrasts. This is the largest and most populated region of the world, it is where urbanization is increasing at the highest rate (Seto et al., 2012). At the same time, it is extremely biodiverse (Myers et al., 2000), so that promoting harmonious human-wildlife co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aposematic organisms defend themselves through various means to increase their unprofitability to predators which they advertise with conspicuous warning signals. Predators learn to avoid aposematic prey through associative learning that leads to lower predation. However, when these visual signals become unreliable (e.g., through automimicry or Bat...
Article
Full-text available
Diet specialisation during brood rearing has important consequences on parental reproductive success and on the recruitment rate of offspring. However, very little is known about the long-term consistency of parents when feeding their offspring. Here, we used Mediterranean Great Tits Parus major to test the hypothesis that parents show a consistent...
Article
Full-text available
Species in transformed habitats, frequently labeled as environmental generalists, tend to show broader niches than species in natural habitats. However, how population niche expansion translates into changes in the niches of individual organisms remains unclear, particularly in the context of habitat transformation. Niche expansion could be a produ...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization implies a dramatic impact on ecosystems, which may lead to drastic phenotypic differences between urban and nonurban individuals. For instance, urbanization is associated with increased metabolic costs, which may constrain body size, but urbanization also leads to habitat fragmentation, which may favor increases in body mass when for i...
Article
Full-text available
Aposematic organisms are often unprofitable to predators (e.g. because of defensive chemicals) which they advertise with a conspicuous signal (e.g. bright and conspicuous colour signals). Aposematism is thought to reduce predation of prey because the colour signal increases the ability of predators to learn, recognize and remember the prey’s defens...
Article
Migratory shorebirds select stopover sites to fuel their migration across heterogeneous coastal landscapes with abundant prey resources. Quantifying the degree of dietary specialization between closely-related species and how they partition resources across different coastal habitat types during both spring and autumn migration could identify some...
Article
Full-text available
Western voices claim that China needs “to discredit engrained cultural beliefs” to make the country’s ban on wildlife trade workable (see J. Ribeiro et al. Nature 578, 217; 2020). This stereotyped perception of Chinese society disregards the country’s huge support for the ban, thanks to efforts by conservationists and the government, as well as evi...
Article
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Background Speciation with gene flow is an alternative to the nascence of new taxa in strict allopatric separation. Indeed, many taxa have parapatric distributions at present. It is often unclear if these are secondary contacts, e.g. caused by past glaciation cycles or the manifestation of speciation with gene flow, which hampers our understanding...
Article
Full-text available
Human‐mediated habitat transformation is increasingly evident around the world. Yet, how this transformation influences species’ niche width and overlap remains unclear. On the one hand, human‐mediated habitat transformation promotes increased species similarity through trait‐based filtering, and an increased prevalence of generalist species with b...
Article
Full-text available
The pace-of-life hypothesis predicts no impact of urbanization on stress responses. Accordingly, several studies have been inconsistent in showing differences in breath rate (BR), a proxy of acute stress responses to handling in passerines, between rural and urban areas. However, this evidence is limited to a single bird species and a lim- ited geo...
Article
Full-text available
Solapamiento de nichos isotópicos entre el ruiseñor del Japón, invasivo, y los posibles competidores nativos Analizamos el solapamiento de nichos entre el ruiseñor del Japón, Leiothrix lutea, que es un ave exótica invasiva en expansión, y el petirrojo europeo, Erithacus rubecula, y la curruca capirotada, Sylvia atricapilla, que son especies nativas...
Poster
Full-text available
Preliminary results on the combined effect of urban temperature, light and noise pollution on clutch size of Barn Swallows presented at the IOC 2018. We found that nests were variable in the degree of exposure to these abiotic stressors and that this influenced clutch size. Further research is needed to assess the impact of these abiotic stressors...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speciation with gene flow is an alternative to the nascence of new taxa in strict allopatric separation. Indeed, many taxa have parapatric distributions at present. It is often unclear if these are secondary contacts, e.g. caused by past glaciation cycles or the manifestation of speciation with gene flow, which hampers our understanding of how diff...
Article
Full-text available
Bird plumage is often very colourful and can communicate the quality of the bearer to conspecifics. These plumage-based signals of quality are composed of multiple pigments (e.g., melanin and carotenoids). Therefore, sex and age classes, which often show marked differences in plumage colouration, may have different dietary needs for the different p...
Article
Full-text available
Capsule: The incubation behaviour of the Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda was measured using data loggers in the Hengduan Mountains, China, to test predictions of parental trade-off theory. Overall, female sunbirds prioritized incubation rather than self-feeding when temperatures were lowest, suggesting that brood demands may dominate parent...
Article
What structures the organization of mixed-species bird flocks, so that some ‘nuclear’ species lead the flocks, and others follow? Previous research has shown that species actively listen to each other, and that leaders are gregarious; such gregarious species tend to make contact calls and hence may be vocally conspicuous. Here we investigated wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Online version available at http://rdcu.be/sOdS Two main theories attempt to explain species coexistence: the neutral theory considers all the species as equivalents so biodiversity is mainly regarded as a function of total available resources (i.e. niche expansion), while the niche theory stresses the relevance of differences in niche use between...
Article
Full-text available
The ecology and life history of bird species inhabiting limestone forests, which are under major conservation threats, is currently poorly known. To cover this gap of knowledge, in this study we report for the first time on several aspects of the breeding ecology of the Blue-rumped Pitta (Pitta soror) and the Fairy Pitta (P. nympha) inhabiting two...
Article
Behavioural research traditionally focusses on the mean responses of a group of individuals rather than variation in behaviour around the mean or among individuals. However, examining the variation in behaviour among and within individuals may also yield important insights into the evolution and maintenance of behaviour. Repeatability is the most c...
Article
Full-text available
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2016.11.004 The diet of wild animals has been studied using many different strategies, approaches and methods in recent decades. In this regard, stable isotopes analysis (SIA) is becoming a widespread tool, but no study has yet, to our knowledge, compared diet estimations from SIA with direct observati...
Article
Full-text available
Carotenoid-based ornaments have been proposed to signal the ability to find food. The good-parent hypothesis suggests that females may rely on these carotenoid-based traits to assess male parental quality. A key question is whether the quality of these ornaments correlates with their performance at the moment of breeding. In this study, we assessed...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decade, an increasing body of research has addressed the extent to which different individuals within a species or population specialize in their exploitation of different food resources, which is referred to as individual diet specialization (IDS). Traditionally, researchers use the terms 'specialist' and 'general-ist', despite the ina...
Article
Some animal species are found in many environments and over wide distributions and may have adaptations to live in such different areas. The barn swallow Hirundo rustica is an example of a species that is able to thrive over a large geographic range and in many different environments. However, little is known of the breeding biology of this species...
Article
Full-text available
Resource partitioning is a central issue in ecology because it can establish to which point similar species can coexist in the same habitat. Great tits and blue tits have been classical model species in studies of trophic competence. However, most studies on the topic have been conducted at localities where caterpillars are by far the most relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Male colouration has a key role in signalling individual quality during the breeding season. Although winter plumage probably correlates with of summer plumage, few studies have focused on the determinants of male colouration during the non-breeding period. If plumage colouration is related to an individual’s age or is strongly correlated with body...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of diet specialization provides key information on how different individuals deal with similar food and habitat constraints within populations. Characterizing parental diet specialization at the moment of breeding, and the consistency of these preferences under different levels of effort, may help us to understand why parents exploit a...
Article
Full-text available
A key topic in foraging ecology is whether a particular prey type is consumed because it is more abundant or easier to catch, or because there is a specific preference for it. The great tit Parus major is an ideal species for studying this topic. Although it is traditionally regarded as a caterpillar specialist, in certain periods, e.g. during the...
Article
Full-text available
Carotenoid-based coloration of nestling plumage is generally considered a reliable signal of quality and has consistently been related to habitat structure. The main hypothesis proposed to explain this correlation is that high quality habitats contain high quality food, which in return affects the expression of carotenoid-based plumage. It therefor...
Article
Full-text available
The pattern of moult of juvenile Common Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita wintering in two distant localities of the Iberian Peninsula, Málaga (south) and Barcelona (north) differed. Individuals wintering in the northern locality moulted more contour than flight feathers, and vice versa, while sexes did not differ; individuals moulting more contou...
Article
Full-text available
Given the known influence of parental investment on breeding success of great tits Parus major, females should be expected to use male parental quality as an essential criterion in mate choice. Since parental quality cannot usually be observed directly at the time of pairing, it has been suggested that females rely on male ornaments as indicative o...
Article
Full-text available
Inter-individual differences in the extent of post-juvenile moult in migratory birds are usually attributed to energetic or time constraints that are related to their different geographic origins. In addition, recent research has stressed the importance of food availability in the moult and migratory strategies of birds. Consequently, individual qu...
Article
Full-text available
Parental investment is a key topic in avian ecology, and many authors have focused on nestling-feeding behaviour to analyse this issue. Surprisingly, most studies have based their results on feeding patterns recorded over periods of only one or two hours, possibly leading to over generalizations regarding temporal-dependent behavioural patterns. Ir...
Article
Full-text available
Animal research commonly requires temporary handling of study animals. In this study, we compared the response to handling stress in urban and forest Great Tits (Parus major). We measured breath rate, which has been suggested as a proxy of the stress response of the bird. Urban birds displayed higher breath rates than forest birds. Results suggest...
Article
Full-text available
Yearling birds generally display duller colours than adults. This may be due to selection favouring birds with more intensely coloured plumage or to an increase in colour after the first complete moult. Most research to date on the topic has been carried out on species with structural plumage coloration or with carotenoid-based coloration that is p...
Article
Full-text available
The Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) is a superficially sexually monochromatic colourful bird native to the Indian subcontinent, which has colonized many locations across the world as an introduced species. We investigated the best method to accurately sex the species, capturing and measuring the colour and external morphometry of a sample of...
Article
Full-text available
The diet of the Great Tit Parus major when rearing chicks has been described in many studies. However, data from the Mediterranean area is scarce. Here we describe the diet of nestlings in a population of Great Tits in a Mediterranean forest in Barcelona (north–east Spain) during two breeding seasons using two methods: neck–collars and video record...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
The current pandemic has elicited the ban of wildlife meat consumption in China. This ban has not affected other uses (e.g. traditional medicine), and has raised concerns among scientific and social sectors defending well-regulated wildlife utilization (e.g. farming) as a tool to prevent poaching and illegal trade. However, there is a gap in knowledge on the effectiveness of the current licensing system in preventing illegal activities and benefiting wildlife species (Xiao et. al. 2021), as well as on our understanding of the drivers of demand for wildlife products. In this research project, we aim to jointly analyze supply- and demand-sides of wildlife trade in order to design more accurately targeted policies and regulations, law enforcement, and education campaigns. Thus, this project will enable the formulation of informed political decisions aiming to protect wildlife and will also benefit NGOs interested in targeting on specific social groups, regions and species for their education campaigns.
Project
The urbanization process implies a tremendous change in the structure of natural habitats so that urban organisms need to adapt their phenotypes to these particular conditions. These phenotypic changes should be quantified, and its genetic basis and fitness effects identified. Experimental approaches may then assess which factors drive these adaptations. In the last decades China has experienced a great expansion of its urban areas. Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) breed in a broad range of latitudes so different populations show divergent natural and sexual selection patterns. They are present in rural and urban areas and are therefore an optimal model to investigate urban eco-evolutionary dynamics. In this project, using a paired design across multiple locations, we aim to contrast phenotypic divergence between populations inhabiting the three main zoogeographical regions of China and between paired rural and urban populations across this geographical gradient. In doing so, we will be able to identify which traits are being selected and whether urban evolution counteracts naturally divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics through a predictable homogenization effect.
Archived project
By the analysis of the Spanish Breeding Atlas and the past and recent literature we seek new insights to the expansion of this reedbed specialist in the Iberian Peninsula.