Gregorio Moreno-Rueda

Gregorio Moreno-Rueda
University of Granada | UGR · Departamento de Zoología

PhD

About

172
Publications
35,508
Reads
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2,574
Citations
Citations since 2016
68 Research Items
1618 Citations
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Introduction
I have worked at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology (Vienna) and at the Experimental Station of Arid Zones (EEZA-CSIC, Almeria). During my research career, I have studied the adaptations of snails to arid environments and life-history evolution in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Currently, I continue studying life-history evolution in different vertebrates, and also work on the evolution of animal communication, mainly begging behaviour in nestlings, but also processes under sexual selection. Lastly, I am interested in the processes of local adaptation in Mediterranean environments.
Additional affiliations
October 2011 - present
University of Granada
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
October 2011 - present
University of Granada
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2010 - October 2011
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (172)
Preprint
Full-text available
Due to rapid human expansion in the last century, wildlife roadkill is becoming a concerning threat to biodiversity and human safety. The frequency of roadkill events depends on factors related to speci c traits of the road-fencing, tortuosity, or type of habitat, among others-and the animal ecology-such as activity patterns, reproductive season, t...
Article
Ecogeographical patterns describe predictable variation in phenotypic traits between ecological communities. For example, high-altitude animals are expected to show elevated hematological values as an adaptation to the lower oxygen pressure. Mountains act like ecological islands and therefore are considered natural laboratories. However, the majori...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Culicoides biting midges are blood-sucking insects that play a key role in the transmission of different parasites to wildlife. Birds are hosts of Culicoides from as early on as the nesting stage, when constrained to their nests, and they may impact their body condition. However, the ecological factors that determine the abundance and composition o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of fresh green material in avian nests has been reported for several species, but its utility is still not fully understood. Potential explanations include the effects of plants’ volatile compounds on parasite reduction (“nest protection hypothesis”) or the direct beneficial effects on the nestling condition (e.g., through the stimulation o...
Article
Full-text available
Los mosquitos desempeñan un importante papel en los ecosistemas ya que actúan como vectores (transmisores) de numerosos patógenos que circulan en la naturaleza y causan enfermedades en los humanos y otros animales. El mosquito común (Culex pipiens), por ejemplo, es un buen transmisor del parásito causante de la malaria aviar, Plasmodium relictum, y...
Article
Mixed-species broods appear to be an uncommon phenomenon in altricial birds. In secondary hole-nesting birds, such as tits (Paridae), mixed-species clutches occur as a consequence of facultative interspecific brood parasitism or as a byproduct of nest takeover. Here, we report a case of a mixed-species brood composed of one Coal Tit Periparus ater...
Article
Full-text available
Several ectoparasites parasitise nestlings decreasing their body condition, growth and survival. To minimise any loss of fitness due to ectoparasites, birds have developed a wide variety of defence mechanisms, potentially including hatching asynchrony. According to the Tasty Chick Hypothesis (TCH), the cost of parasitism would be reduced if ectopar...
Article
Full-text available
Wild birds are hosts of Culicoides from as early on as the nesting stage when constrained to their nests. However, the environmental factors which determine the abundance and composition of Culicoides species within each bird nest are still understudied. We sampled Culicoides from Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nests found in two types of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Several nest-dwelling ectoparasites parasitize nestlings and can decrease their body condition, growth or survival. To minimise these negative effects, birds have developed different defence mechanisms, potentially including hatching asynchrony. In altricial birds, nestlings often establish a body size hierarchy because eggs typically hatch sequent...
Article
Full-text available
The diets of the Barn Owl Tyto alba and the Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus have been extensively studied worldwide over the past few years, especially on the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, very few studies have examined the diets and the trophic niche overlap in areas where these two raptor species occur in sympatry. As such, in this study we comp...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is predicted to cause shifts in parasite distributions, leading to encounters with new hosts. Mountains offer a natural experimental background to study how parasite distributions vary across climatic gradients. Parasite abundance is generally assumed to decrease with ascending elevation, as colder climates may preclude several paras...
Article
Sprint speed is a major performance trait in animal fitness involved in escaping from predators, obtaining food, and defending territory. Biotic and abiotic factors may influence sprint speed in lizards. Temperature decreases at higher altitude. Therefore, lizards at high elevations may require longer basking times to reach optimal body temperature...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El estrés oxidativo, definido como el desequilibrio entre la producción de especies reactivas de oxígeno (ROS) y moléculas antioxidantes a favor de las primeras, favorece la aparición de daños en las moléculas integrantes de células y tejidos, los cuales pueden afectar a su función y por tanto ocasionar a la larga efectos perjudiciales en los organ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La lechuza campestre (Asio flammeus) es una rapaz con una distribución muy amplia, por lo que es de esperar que su dieta varíe enormemente entre regiones geográficas. Su dieta en la Península Ibérica es una de las más desconocidas entre las rapaces nocturnas, más aún en el sur de ésta. En el presente trabajo se estudió la dieta de A. flammeus en la...
Article
Oxidative status has been proposed as an important ecological and evolutionary force given that pro-oxidant metabolites damage molecules, cells and tissues, with fitness consequences for organisms. Consequently, organisms usually face a trade-off between regulating their oxidative status and other physiological traits. However, environmental stress...
Article
Full-text available
Animals frequently show complex colour patterns involved in social communication, which attracts great interest in evolutionary and behavioural ecology. Most researchers interpret that each colour in animals with multiple patches may either signal a different bearer’s trait or redundantly convey the same information. Colour signals, moreover, may v...
Article
We report a new analysis of haemosporidian occurrence in 392 Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis nestlings previously reported in Hernández et al. (2017. Haemosporidian prevalence in Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis nestlings: impact on body condition and geographic distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. Bird Study 64: 362–373). The pr...
Article
Full-text available
In terrestrial snails, thermal selection acts on shell coloration. However, the biological relevance of small differences in the intensity of shell pigmentation and the associated thermodynamic, physiological, and evolutionary consequences for snail diversity within the course of environmental warming are still insufficiently understood. To relate...
Article
Full-text available
Lifespan is one of the main components of life history. Shorter lifespans can be expected in marginal habitats. However, in the case of ectotherms, lifespan typically increases with altitude, even though temperature –one of the main factors to determine ectotherms’ life history– declines with elevation. This pattern can be explained by the fact tha...
Article
Body temperature is important in determining individual performance in ectotherms such as lizards. Environmental temperature decreases with increasing altitude, but nevertheless many lizards inhabit high-altitude environments. The ‘thermal melanism hypothesis’ proposes that a dark dorsal coloration enables darker individuals to heat up faster becau...
Article
Full-text available
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a very powerful method to detect and identify pathogens. The high sensitivity of the method however comes with a cost; any of the millions of artificial DNA copies generated by PCR can serve as a template in a following experiment. If not identified as contaminations, these may result in erroneous conclusions...
Article
Animals may face trade-offs when several simultaneous functions or processes compete for limiting resources. In that context, allocation of resources to the most fitness-enhancing competing function can be prioritized. Immune response and locomotor performance are relevant fitness components, mainly due to their important roles as defence against p...
Article
Full-text available
Predation is one of the main selective forces in nature, frequently selecting potential prey for developing escape strategies. Escape ability is typically influenced by several morphological parameters, such as morphology of the locomotor SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALes, muscular capacity, body mass, or fluctuating asymmetry, and may differ between sexes...
Article
Full-text available
The timing of organisms' senescence is developmentally programmed but also shaped by the interaction between environmental inputs and life-history traits. In ectotherms, ageing dynamics are still poorly understood even though their body temperature, metabolism, or growth trajectory are very sensitive to environmental changes. Here, we investigated...
Poster
Full-text available
Several ectoparasites, such as fleas and blowflies, parasitize nestling birds with detrimental effects on their health. To fight against ectoparasites and minimize fitness loss, birds have developed several defence mechanisms. The Tasty Chick Hypothesis (TCH) suggests that hatching asynchrony could be a defence against ectoparasites, given that ect...
Article
Full-text available
The article can be read here for a limited time https://rdcu.be/b0P1v Parasitoid wasps may act as hyperparasites and sometimes regulate the populations of their hosts by a top-down dynamic. Nasonia vitripennis (Walker, 1836) is a generalist gregarious parasitoid that parasitizes several host flies, including the blowfly Protocalliphora Hough, 1899...
Article
Full-text available
Predation usually selects for visual crypsis, the colour matching between an animal and its background. Geographic co-variation between animal and background colourations is well known, but how crypsis varies along elevational gradients remains unknown. We predict that dorsal colouration in the lizard Psammodromus algirus should covary with the col...
Poster
Full-text available
Las avispas parasitoides suelen ocupar el tercer nivel de la mayoría de los sistemas multitróficos, actuando así como hiperparásitos y, en ocasiones, regulando las poblaciones de sus hospedadores mediante una dinámica top-down. Nasonia (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) es una avispa parasitoide gregaria y generalista capaz de parasitar pupas de varias mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nasonia vitripennis is a generalist gregarious parasitoid wasp that parasitizes several host blowflies, which, in turn, parasitize vertebrates. Protocalliphora azurea is one of the host of this parasitoid, whose larvae are hematophagous parasites of bird nestlings. We studied the prevalence of N. vitripennis in P. azurea puparia parasitizing wild p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The timing of organisms' senescence is developmentally programmed but also shaped by the interaction between environmental inputs and life-history traits. In ectotherms, ageing dynamics are still poorly understood despite their particularities concerning thermoregulation, regeneration capacity, or growth trajectory. Here, we investigate the role of...
Article
Full-text available
Telomere length is a marker of cellular senescence that relates to different components of individual fitness. Oxidative stress is often claimed as a main proximate factor contributing to telomere attrition, although the importance of this factor in vivo has recently been challenged. Early development represents an ideal scenario to address this hy...
Article
Full-text available
Current climate warming has already contributed to local extinctions. Amphibians are one of the most sensitive animal groups to climate change, currently undergoing a global decline. Predictive models for Europe and Iberian Peninsula forecast that the future impact of climate change on amphibians will depend on their capacity to alter their distrib...
Article
Full-text available
In Mediterranean environments, wildfires are key in modelling landscapes, ecological succession and the dynamics of species and communities. however, in recent years, wildfires have increased in number and extent, resulting in a conservation concern. still, it is generally thought that reptiles are usually not harmed by wildfires, or even may be be...
Article
Full-text available
Hematological profiles are routinely used to assess the health status of animals. Several methods have been developed for blood cell counting, but they are typically expensive and/or time-consuming. Here, we present a free image-processing software, Mizutama, developed for counting cells in photographs of blood smears. Mizutama uses the thresholdin...
Article
Full-text available
Recent changes in farming throughout Europe are threatening steppe birds, such as Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus, a steppe raptor that nests in cereal crops, and is therefore threatened by the destruction of its nests by harvesters. Here we analyse the reproductive biology of Montagu's Harrier in Granada province of (south-eastern Spain), based...
Article
Full-text available
Studying the causes of parasite geographic distribution is relevant to understand ecological and evolutionary processes that affect host populations as well as for species conservation. Temperature is one of the most important environmental variables affecting parasite distribution, as raising temperatures positively affect development, reproductio...
Article
Full-text available
Mountains imply enormous environmental variation, with alpine habitats entailing harsh environments, especially for ectotherms such as lizards. This environmental variability also may imply variation in prey availability. However, little is known about how lizard trophic ecology varies with elevation. In this study, we analyse diet, prey availabili...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental change associated with urbanization is considered one of the major threats to biodiversity. Some species nevertheless seem to thrive in the urban areas, probably associated with selection for phenotypes that match urban habitats. Previous research defined different “copying styles” in distress behavior during the handling of birds. Th...
Article
Capsule: Nestling Southern Grey Shrikes Lanius meridionalis show a high prevalence of haemosporidian parasites including five lineages described here for the first time. Aims: To examine the prevalence of various haemosporidian lineages in nestlings of three separated Iberian populations of the Southern Grey Shrike. Methods: Blood samples were take...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical signals used in intraspecific communication are expected to evolve or to show phenotipic plasticity to maximize efficacy in the climatic conditions of a given environment. Elevational environmental gradients in mountains provide a good opportunity to test this hypothesis by examining variation in characteristics of signals in species found...
Article
The uropygial gland is a holocrine complex exclusive to birds that produces an oleaginous secretion (preen oil) whose function is still debated. Herein, I examine critically the evidence for the many hypotheses of potential functions of this gland. The main conclusion is that our understanding of this gland is still in its infancy. Even for functio...
Article
Despite major advances in sex ratio theory, how offspring sex should vary with hatching order remains unclear. We examine nestling sex ratio in the Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis according to hatching order and clutch size. Southern Grey Shrike nestlings present a different sex ratio with body-mass rank order depending on clutch size. Whe...
Article
Tail autotomy is a widespread antipredator strategy among lizards, which consists of the capability of willingly detaching a portion of the tail in order to escape predator attacks. Nonetheless, tail autotomy has a number of costs, including reduced sprint speed which increases predation risk. However, lizards regenerate the tail following autotomy...
Article
Full-text available
Birds frequently signal different qualities by plumage colouration, mainly during mating. However, plumage colouration is determined during the moult, and therefore it would indicate the quality of individual birds during the moult, not its current quality. Recent studies, however, suggest that birds could modify plumage colouration by using cosmet...
Data
Supplementary material
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Supplementary material
Article
Full-text available
Skeletochronology allows estimation of lizard age with a single capture (from a bone), making long-term monitoring unnecessary. Nevertheless, this method often involves the death of the animal to obtain the bone. We tested the reliability of skeletochronology of phalanges (which may be obtained without killing) by comparing the estimated age from f...
Article
Full-text available
Skeletochronology allows estimation of lizard age with a single capture (from a bone), making long–term monitoring unnecessary. Nevertheless, this method often involves the death of the animal to obtain the bone. We tested the reliability of skeletochronology of phalanges (which may be obtained without killing) by comparing the estimated age from f...
Article
Full-text available
Immunocompetence benefits animal fitness by combating pathogens, but also entails some costs. One of its main components is fever, which in ectotherms involves two main types of costs: energy expenditure and predation risk. Whenever those costs of fever outweigh its benefits, ectotherms are expected not to develop fever, or even to show hypothermia...
Article
Full-text available
Many theoretical models on the evolution of nestling begging assume this behavior is costly, so that only nestlings in real need of food would profit from giving intensive signals to parents. However, evidence accumulated for the last 2 decades is either contradictory (growth costs) or scant (immunological cost). Here, we experimentally test the ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Demographic studies are fundamental in population ecology, as well as in conservation biology and wildlife management. However, few methods are available to determine the exact age of animals. Mark-recapture is usually the main method to study demography, but this approach is highly time-consuming and needs long-term monitoring. For species for whi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Demographic studies are fundamental in population ecology, as well as in conservation biology and wildlife management. However, few methods are available to determine the exact age of animals. Mark-recapture is usually the main method to study demography, but this approach is highly time-consuming and needs long-term monitoring. For species for whi...
Article
Full-text available
The southern shrike (Lanius meridionalis) is declining at the Spanish and European level. One cause of this decline could be low reproductive success due to low availability of prey in agricultural environments. To investigate this possibility we analysed the breeding ecology of a population of southern shrike in an agrosystem in Lomas de Padul (SE...
Chapter
La comunicación animal ha evolucionado como un proceso coadaptado entre receptores y emisores. Con la comunicación, los receptores mejoran sus decisiones respecto al medio en base a las señales producidas por los emisores. A su vez, los emisores se benefician de la influencia que ejercen sobre los receptores. Las señales evolucionan a partir de ind...