John G Blake

John G Blake
University of Florida | UF · Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

PhD

About

147
Publications
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6,410
Citations
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January 1993 - April 2010

Publications

Publications (147)
Article
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Nocturnal Curassows (Nothocrax urumutum) are enigmatic birds from South American rainforests. Their elusive habits and nocturnal vocal behavior have led to the generalized assumption that they are primarily nocturnal. Here, we compiled camera trap da ta from long-term projects in the Amazon rainforest and the Andes foothills to describe the tempora...
Article
Aim Current diversity patterns in local communities result from historical and contemporary events that operate at distinct spatial and temporal scales. However, the contribution of local and large-scale processes in structuring species diversity remain a contentious topic in ecology. We investigated diversity patterns (species richness, compositio...
Article
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Extensive networks of large plots have the potential to transform knowledge of avian community dynamics through time and across geographical space. In the Neotropics, the global hotspot of avian diversity, only six 100-ha plots, all located in lowland forests of Amazonia, the Guianan shield and Panama, have been inventoried sufficiently. We review...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03473-8.
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Species distribution models are useful for identifying the ecological characteristics that may limit a species' geographic range and for inferring patterns of speciation. Here, we test a hypothesis of niche conservatism across evolutionary time in a group of manakins (Aves: Pipridae), with a focus on Chiroxiphia boliviana, and examine the degree of...
Article
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Bird communities in lowland Neotropical forests exhibit temporal and spatial variation in species composition and abundance at multiple scales. Detecting and explaining such variation requires adequate methods for sampling those bird communities but counting birds in highly diverse lowland forests of the Neotropics can be particularly challenging....
Article
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Whole-genome sequencing projects are increasingly populating the tree of life and characterizing biodiversity1,2,3,4. Sparse taxon sampling has previously been proposed to confound phylogenetic inference5, and captures only a fraction of the genomic diversity. Here we report a substantial step towards the dense representation of avian phylogenetic...
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The persistent high deforestation rate and fragmentation of the Amazon forests are the main threats to their biodiversity. To anticipate and mitigate these threats, it is important to understand and predict how species respond to the rapidly changing landscape. The short-eared dog Atelocynus microtis is the only Amazon-endemic canid and one of the...
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We investigated short-eared dog habitat associations on two spatial scales. First, we used the largest record database ever compiled for short-eared dogs in combination with species distribution models to map species habitat suitability, estimate its distribution range and predict shifts in species distribution in response to predicted deforestatio...
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Temporal turnover of species between predominantly aquatic and terrestrial phases of floodplains, a process that helps maintain the high bird diversity of river‐floodplain systems, could be driven by dependency of species on wetlands. To assess this, we compared the bird assemblages of river‐floodplain systems at 60 sites along the Paraná River dur...
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Predation is one of the main barriers that exotic species may face in newly colonized areas and may help stop or control the potential negative impacts of invasive species in the environment. We evaluated if the consumption of an invasive prey (armored catfish: Pterygoplichtys sp.) affects the dietary niche breadth and trophic level of a native pre...
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Five species of potoos occur in Ecuador, with Rufous Potoos (Nyctibius bracteatus) being one of the least known. We monitored a nest site of Rufous Potoos in a lowland forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon and provide information about the behavior of a nestling and one or more adults. Observations were conducted opportunistically from 10 August to 10 Se...
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Habitat spatial distribution, seasonal variation, and activity patterns influence changes in vertebrate assemblages over time. Terrestrial birds play major roles in the dynamics of tropical forests, but there are few effective methods to study these species due to their cryptic coloration and elusive behavior. We used camera‐trap data collected dur...
Preprint
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Due to human activities, some species have expanded their distribution into areas that were historically difficult or impossible to reach by natural dispersal. Such species may become invasive if they successfully establish reproductive populations. Predation is one of the main barriers that exotic species may face in newly colonized areas. We eval...
Article
Birds are tempting to include in studies of tropical ecology and conservation. Yet, they are deceptively difficult to detect, identify and, particularly, count. We briefly review some common challenges of surveying tropical birds, offer guidance on the most important decisions to consider when selecting methodologies, and recommend best practices t...
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Bird vocalizations are likely shaped both by natural and sexual selection. Here we test the sensory-drive hypothesis, which states that communication signals diverge as a direct adaptation to the signaling environment and can evolve to minimize degradation and maximize transmission. We examined the effects of elevation and other habitat variables o...
Article
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Terrestrial mammals are important components of lowland forests in Amazonia (as seed dispersal agents, herbivores, predators) but there are relatively few detailed studies from areas that have not been affected by human activities (e.g., hunting, logging). Yet, such information is needed to evaluate effects of humans elsewhere. We used camera traps...
Data
Image data, camera coordinates, and environmental data Images are identified by species, plot, camera location, and year. A second sheet provides plot coordinates for the camera locations on each plot. Additional sheets provide environmental data used in redundancy analyses.
Data
Redundancy analysis based on environmental variables within 100 m of camera traps Redundancy analysis based on images of 17 species of mammals recorded at cameras on two plots at Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador. Images were combined across four years (2014–2017). Environmental variables were calculated based on a 100-m radius around each cam...
Data
Number of images by species and year Number of independent records (at least 30-min separation) of mammals from camera traps located on two study plots in Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador, during January–March 2014–2017 (14, 15, 16, 17).
Data
Variables used to characterize environmental conditions around camera traps Values (mean, SE) of variables used to characterize environmental conditions within either 50 m or 100 m radius of camera locations on two plots in lowland forest at Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador. Values are given for both plots combined and for each plot separatel...
Article
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Members of the avian family Pipridae (manakins) have served as a model system for studies aimed at understanding cooperation among individuals, traits involved in sexual selection and the evolution of female preferences. These studies rely on a detailed natural history baseline, yet multiple manakin taxa remain unstudied, precluding comparative ana...
Research
Full-text available
Field Guides / Chicago Field Museum 904 V.1
Article
Complex frugivory networks are common in heterogeneous environments, but how the structure of those networks varies due to seasonality and other environmental factors remains unclear. For example, seasonal variation in rainfall can influence fruit production and diaspore characteristics, which could alter the quantity and quality of resources avail...
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Long-term studies from undisturbed forests provide a baseline by which to assess impacts of human activities, including climate change, on vertebrate population dynamics in lowland tropical forests. We use camera-trap data from January to March, 2005 to 2015, to examine patterns of variation in numbers of images and occupancy (proportion of cameras...
Article
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Human activity can lead to changes in animal behavior and distribution patterns if the level of activity is high enough to cause disturbance. Both humans and other animals commonly use human-made trails in lowland tropical forest and, therefore, it is possible that use of trails by humans might affect the likelihood that animals would use those sam...
Article
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Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understo...
Article
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Aim Migrating birds transport their parasites, often over long distances, but little is known about the transfer of these parasites to resident hosts in either the wintering or breeding ranges of the migratory host populations. We investigated the haemosporidian parasite faunas of migratory and resident birds to determine connections among distant...
Article
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Elevational migration is a widespread phenomenon in tropical avifauna but it is difficult to identify using traditional approaches. Hydrogen isotope (δ2H) values of precipitation decrease with elevation so δ2H analysis of multiple bird tissues with different isotopic incorporation rates may be a reliable method for characterizing seasonal elevation...
Article
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We tested the hypothesis that avian haemosporidian (malaria) parasites specialize on hosts that can be characterized as predictable resources at a site in Amazonian Ecuador. We incorporated host phylogenetic relationship and relative abundance in assessing parasite specialization, and we examined associations between parasite specialization and thr...
Article
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The dark tree rat, Echimys saturnus (Thomas, 1928) is a poorly-known member of the Echimyidae family known from only a few records at scattered localities in the eastern Andean foothills. All Echimys species are difficult to see or capture and little is known about their geographic range and behavior. Here we report new observations, activity patte...
Article
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Bird populations vary both spatially and temporally with consequences for patterns of species richness and community composition. Many species of birds have declined in abundance over the last 14 years at a site in lowland Ecuador. Here, we examine impacts of those declines on composition of bird assemblages on two 100-ha plots in lowland forest at...
Article
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The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is one of the most widespread neotropical felids but data on its distribution and population status in several countries are scarce. Here, we present estimates of density for lowland forest of eastern Ecuador. We used camera trap data and capture–recapture analyses to estimate ocelot density within a local area (~650...
Article
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Grassland birds are declining as a consequence of habitat modification, and these declines have generated efforts to determine how birds cope with changes in habitat features, especially in agricultural landscapes. The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between grassland birds and vegetation structure in the Northern Campos of U...
Article
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Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) are common in lowland forests of Amazonia. We used camera traps to document the occurrence and activity of ocelots at a site in eastern Ecuador during 2005–2012 (15,058 trap-days). We accumulated 384 independent images of 16 males (147 images), 19 females (234 images), and 3 not assigned to individual or sex. Individual...
Poster
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Ecological networks are important to understand the evolutionary process and to maintain the biodiversity. Frugivory network can be related with climatic seasonality, since it can affect the availability of food and the presence of frugivorous. Nevertheless, changes in networks in response to this seasonality are still little known and more data ar...
Article
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Bird populations have declined in many parts of the world but most of those declines can be attributed to effects of human activities (e.g., habitat fragmentation); declines in areas unaffected by human activities are not common. We have been sampling bird populations at an undisturbed site in lowland forest of eastern Ecuador annually since 2001 u...
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How specialization of consumers with respect to resources varies with respect to latitude is poorly understood. Coexistence of many species in the tropics might be possible only if specialization also increases. Alternatively, lower average abundance of more diverse biotic resources in the tropics might force consumers to become more generalized fo...
Article
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Jaguars (Panthera onca) are the largest predator in lowland forests of Amazonia but there have been few studies on their occurrence and activity in such forests. Here, we used camera traps to document the occur-rence and activity of jaguars within a local area (~650ha) of lowland forest of Eastern Ecuador, over two sample periods (2005-2008, 7 222...
Article
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Camera traps are increasingly important in studies of mammals throughout the world. Typically, cameras are placed along trails or other travel routes. Yet, species composition and photographic rate may differ between cameras set along trails and those set off trails. We tested this idea in eastern Ecuador. Pairs of cameras were placed at 10 locatio...
Article
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Jaguars (Panthera onca) are the largest predator in lowland forests of Amazonia but there have been few studies on their occurrence and activity in such forests. Here, we used camera traps to document the occurrence and activity of jaguars within a local area (~650ha) of lowland forest of Eastern Ecuador, over two sample periods (2005-2008, 7 222 t...
Article
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Knowledge of survival rates of Neotropical landbirds remains limited, with estimates of apparent survival available from relatively few sites and species. Previously, capture-mark-recapture models were used to estimate apparent survival of 31 species (30 passerines, 1 Trochilidae) from eastern Ecuador based on data collected from 2001 to 2006. Here...
Article
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The temporal variation of bird assemblages at three sites within a wetland of the Parana River was examined. The aim was to obtain an overview of the influence of spatial heterogeneity on communities in such a variable environment as the wetlands. We recorded 1,662 individuals belonging to 139 species from 40 families. There were no significant dif...
Article
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We used stable isotope ratios to determine the metabolic routing fraction of carbon and nitrogen in feathers in addition to faecal analysis to estimate diet overlap of six sympatric species of manakins in the eastern lowland forest of Ecuador. Collectively, all species varied from-23.7 to-32.7 ‰ for δ(13)C, and from 6.0 to 9.9‰ for δ(15)N, with Mac...
Article
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We used PCR and DNA sequencing to screen for haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) in 2,488 individual birds from 104 species and 22 families, primarily understory suboscine passerines, captured in a lowland Amazonian forest in Ecuador as a first major step to understanding the transmission dynamics of this cosmopolitan group of pa...
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The identification of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that might account for the elevated biotic diversity in tropical forests is a central theme in evolutionary biology. This issue is especially relevant in the Neotropical region, where biological diversity is the highest in the world, but where few studies have been conducted to test facto...
Article
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Mineral licks are sites where a diverse array of mammals and birds consume soil or drink water, likely for mineral supplementation. Many of those same animals are targets of hunters. Camera traps triggered by heat and motion were used to document use of mineral licks by birds and mammals over approximately 2 months at two lowland forest sites in ea...
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Daily activity patterns of most Neotropical mammals are not well described although general patterns (nocturnal, diurnal) are known. yet general categories often do not reflect variation in activity over time or among different habitats or regions. We used camera traps to learn more about how daily activity patterns of mammals vary at a site in low...
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Glyphorynchus spirurus (Wedge-billed Woodcreeper) is one of the most common birds in the understory of many tropical forests of Central and South America but few studies have focused on its abundance and distribution. We use data from mist nets and direct observations over a 10-year period to examine patterns of abundance and distribution on two 10...
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We identified and quantified regional and local environmental factors and spatial variation associated with tree-species composition across a 2000-m attitudinal gradient of Andean forest in north-western Argentina. A network of 47 1-ha plots was established along the attitudinal gradient within an area of about 25 000 km(2); all trees >= 1.0 cm dbh...
Article
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This study examines nest-site selection by two manakin species, Blue-crowned Lepidothrix coronata and Wire-tailed Pipra filicauda (Ayes, Pipridae), that co-occur in lowland wet forest of eastern Ecuador. Both species build simple open-cup nests and both experience high rates of nest predation. Surrounding vegetation was measured for 25 and 27 nests...
Article
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Seed dispersal by birds is thought to profoundly impact patterns of ecological and genetic diversity in many plant species. As such, a more refined understanding of avian seed dispersal dynamics in the Neotropics is a subject of intense interest for ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservation biologists. We provide an overview of emerging...
Article
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Mineral licks are sites where a diverse array of mammals and birds consume soil (geophagy) or drink water, likely for mineral supplementation. The diversity of species that visit such sites makes them important for conservation, particularly given that hunters often target animals at licks. Use of mineral licks varies among species, with frugivores...
Article
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Male vertebrates often form reproductive coalitions to gain access to or defend females. One striking example occurs in the wire-tailed manakin (Pipra filicauda; Aves: Pipridae), where pairs of males form coalitions to display for females on leks. Here, we use data from a long-term study of the wire-tailed manakin to quantify the composition and st...
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This study investigated links between seed production by two species of Miconia (Melastomataceae), whose seeds are dispersed by birds, and later stages of recruitment in lowland forests of eastern Ecuador. Seed dispersal and survival in later stages are crucial for understanding and predicting patterns of plant population dynamics as well as for un...