Martina Carrete

Martina Carrete
Universidad Pablo de Olavide | UPO · Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems

Professor of Ecology

About

195
Publications
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Introduction
My research interest focuses on the ecology and conservation of birds, especifically how populations face global change. I have been working for years on: 1) habitat selection, demographic components, population modelling, regulation processes, and intra and interspecific competition in raptors; 2) factors facilitating biological invasions (current exotic avian invaders but also native urban invaders) and their consequences; 3) conservation of parrots in the Neotropics (poaching, habitat)

Publications

Publications (195)
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Variation in offspring sex ratios is a central topic in animal demography and population dynamics. Most studies have focused on bird species with marked sexual dimorphism and multiple-nestling broods, where the offspring sex ratio is often biased due to different individual or environmental variables. However, biases in offspring sex ratios have be...
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Parrots (Psittaciformes), with about 400 species widely distributed across continents and oceanic islands, stand out among birds for their poor conservation status [...]
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Wildlife trade is a major driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. To regulate its impact, laws and regulations have been implemented at the international and national scales. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has regulated the international legal trade since 1975. However, an important volume...
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Palms, like all plants, show coevolutionary relationships with animals that have been traditionally categorized as mutualistic (seed dispersers and pollinators) or antagonistic (seed predators). This dual perspective, however, has prevented a full understanding of their true interactions with some animal groups, mainly those that do not ingest enti...
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Anthropogenic stressors can favor the occurrence of non-infectious disease that can be worsened by the impact of opportunistic pathogens, making the epizootiology of environmental diseases difficult to unravel. The incidence and impact of oral lesions in nestlings of a facultative scavenger species, the black kite Milvus migrans, were examined over...
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The transmission of pathogens to native species has been highlighted as one of the most important impacts of biological invasions. In this study, we evaluated the presence of psittacine beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and other circoviruses in native bird species cohabiting with invasive populations of wild rose-ringed (Psittacula krameri) an...
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Population changes of invasive species can go unnoticed long before population explosions, so long-term monitoring programs are needed to assess changes in population size. Although invasive populations of rose-ringed (Psittacula krameri) and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) are present worldwide, their current status and dynamics are mostly po...
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Over millennia, human intervention has transformed European habitats mainly through extensive livestock grazing. “Dehesas/Montados” are an Iberian savannah-like ecosystem dominated by oak-trees, bushes and grass species that are subject to agricultural and extensive livestock uses. They are a good example of how large-scale, low intensive transform...
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Bird populations associated with agricultural ecosystems have declined markedly in Europe during the last quarter of the 20th century due to land-use intensification. This has meant that some very common species, in some cases even species considered as pests, are now threatened or subject to management programs to ensure their conservation. Consid...
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The global pet trade is a major pathway for the introduction of invasive alien species. The composition of species selected for transport is driven by market demands, which may be influenced by a combination of both historical and cultural factors. We compared Eastern (Taiwan) and Western (Australia and the Iberian Peninsula) bird markets to explor...
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Scientific and grey literature on invasive alien species (IAS) is conditioned by social, economic and political priorities, editorial preferences and species and ecosystem characteristics. This leads to knowledge gaps and mismatches between scientific research interests and management needs. We reviewed the literature on IAS management in Spain fou...
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Certain traits of recipient environments, such as the availability of limiting resources, strongly determine the establishment success and spread of non-native species. These limitations may be overcome through behavioral plasticity, allowing them to exploit alternative resources. Here, we show how a secondary cavity nester bird, the rose-ringed pa...
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While most of the knowledge on invasive species focuses on their impacts, little is known about their potential positive effects on other species. Invasive ecosystem engineers can disrupt recipient environments; however, they may also facilitate access to novel resources for native species. The monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is a worldwide inv...
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Parrots stand out among birds because of their poor conservation status and the lack of available information on their population sizes and trends. Estimating parrot abundance is complicated by the high mobility, gregariousness, patchy distributions, and rarity of many species. Roadside car surveys can be useful to cover large areas and increase th...
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Understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning requires detailed knowledge about plant–animal interactions, especially when keystone species are involved. The recent consideration of parrots as legitimate seed dispersers has widened the range of mechanisms influencing the life cycle of many plant species. We examined the interactions between...
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Plant–animal interactions are key to sustaining whole communities and ecosystem function. However, their complexity may limit our understanding of the underlying mechanisms and the species involved. The ecological effects of epizoochory remain little known compared to other seed dispersal mechanisms given the few vectors identified. In addition, ep...
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Falconry may constitute a source of exotic species through the escape into the wild of individuals kept in captivity. The introduction of top predators can have important ecological consequences for the recipient community, including genetic pollution through reproduction between falconry hybrids and wild raptors. Here we assessed the introduction...
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Biological invasion is a global problem with large negative impacts on ecosystems and human societies. When a species is introduced, individuals will first have to pass through the invasion stages of uptake and transport, before actual introduction in a non‐native range. Selection is predicted to act during these earliest stages of biological invas...
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Introduced organisms have to overcome several obstacles, including the scarcity of conspecific mates before becoming successfully established. We recorded interspecific mating in non‐native areas (Spain) that involved Orange‐winged Amazons Amazona amazonica with three non‐congeneric parrot species: Scaly‐headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani, Rose‐ringe...
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We present a dataset that assembles occurrence records of alien tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) in the Iberian Peninsula, a coherent biogeographically unit where introductions of alien species have occurred for millennia. These data have important potential applications for ecological research and management, including the asses...
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In some vertebrate species, family units are typically formed when sexually mature individuals delay dispersal and independent breeding to remain as subordinates in a breeding group. This behaviour has been intensively studied in gregarious species but has also been described in non-social species where ecological and evolutionary drivers are less...
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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global priority. To meet this goal, the Spanish government is planning 89 GW of wind and solar photovoltaic energy in the draft of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) for 2021–2030 (1). Despite the Spanish government's efforts to prevent a speculative bubble in the secondary market, there a...
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Protected areas are central to the conservation of biodiversity across the globe. However, their performance, especially in relation to highly mobile species, is largely dependent on the socio-ecological characteristics of the landscape that surrounds them. Here, we assess the patterns of avian scavenger distribution, including both obligate (i.e.,...
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Illegal wildlife trade, which mostly focuses on high-demand species, constitutes a major threat to biodiversity. However, whether poaching is an opportunistic crime within high-demand taxa such as parrots (i.e., harvesting proportional to species availability in the wild), or is selectively focused on particular, more desirable species, is still un...
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Owls (Strigiformes) evolved specific adaptations to their nocturnal predatory lifestyle, such as asymmetrical ears, a facial disc, and a feather structure allowing silent flight. Owls also share some traits with diurnal raptors and other nocturnal birds, such as cryptic plumage patterns, reversed sexual size dimorphism and acute vision and hearing....
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The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal/interrenal (HPA) axis of vertebrates integrates external information and orches trates responses to cope with energy-demanding and stressful events through changes in circulating glucocorticoid levels. Urbanization exposes animals to a wide variety of ever-changing stimuli caused by human activities that may affec...
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Background: Non-native species are often introduced in cities, where they take advantage of microclimatic conditions, resources provided by humans, and competitor/predator release to establish and proliferate. However, native communities in the surrounding rural or natural areas usually halt their spread through biotic resistance, mainly via top-d...
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The psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a globally widespread infectious bird disease that mainly affects species within the Order Psittaciformes (parrots and allies). The disease is caused by an avian circovirus (the beak and feather disease virus, BFDV), which is highly infectious and can lead to severe consequences in wild and captive...
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We assessed the relative importance of human activity and environmental suitability as drivers of compositional dissimilarity of alien birds for 65 of the most populous cities of the Iberian Peninsula. We examined how these drivers relate to Zeta diversity (f) for alien Passeriformes and Psittaciformes. We performed the analysis using multiple orde...
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When a species colonizes an urban habitat, differences in the environment can create novel selection pressures. Successful colonization will further lead to demographic perturbations and genetic drift, which can interfere with selection. Here, we test for consistent urban selection signals in multiple populations of the burrowing owl (Athene cunicu...
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There is a growing need to understand how species respond to habitat changes and the potential key role played by natal dispersal in population dynamics, structure and gene flow. However, few studies have explored differences in this process between conspecifics living in natural habitats and those inhabiting landscapes highly transformed by humans...
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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Anecdotic citations of food wasting have been described for parrots, but we lack a comprehensive knowledge about the extent of this behaviour, and its ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we combine experimental and observational approaches to evaluate the spatial, temporal, typological and taxonomic extent of food wasting by parrots, to...
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Wildlife trade is a profitable economic activity. Birds are among the most heavily traded animals worldwide, with numerous species threatened by pet trade. Information on both legal and illegal aspects of trade and consumer demand is difficult to obtain across different countries, particularly given substantial socio-economic and cultural variation...
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Dispersal propensity has been correlated with personality traits, conspecific density and predation risk in a variety of species. Thus, changes in the relative frequency of behavioural phenotypes or in the ecological pressures faced by individuals in contrasting habitats can have unexpected effects on their dispersal strategies. Here, using the bur...
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International wildlife trade is a major source of current biological invasions. However, the power of trade regulations to reduce invasion risks at large, continental scales has not been empirically assessed. The European wild bird trade ban was implemented in 2005 to counter the spread of the avian flu. We tested whether the ban reduced invasion r...
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In birds, the use of corticosterone (Cort) implants is a frequent tool aimed at simulating systemic elevations of this hormone and studying effects on biological traits (e.g. physiology, morphology, behavior). This manipulation may alter adrenocortical function, potentially changing both baseline (BAS-Cort) and stress-induced (STRESS-Cort) plasma C...
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The adverse effects of wind farms on wildlife, mainly the mortality of flying animals at turbines, should be carefully studied to reconcile renewable energy production and biodiversity conservation. The growing consensus about the aggregated pattern of this mortality at particular turbines suggests that the identification of high-mortality turbines...
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When a species successfully colonizes an urban habitat it can be expected that its population rapidly adapts to the new environment but also experiences demographic perturbations. It is, therefore, essential to gain an understanding of the population structure and the demographic history of the urban and neighbouring rural populations before studyi...
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The identification of effects of invasive species is challenging owing to their multifaceted impacts on native biota. Negative impacts are most often reflected in individual fitness rather than in population dynamics of native species and are less expected in low-biodiversity habitats, such as urban environments. We report the long-term effects of...
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PCR is a universal tool for the multiplication of specific DNA sequences. For example, PCR-based sex determination is widely used, and a diversity of primer sets is available. However, this protocol requires thermal cycling and electrophoresis so results are typically obtained in laboratories and several days after sampling. Loop-mediated isotherma...
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1. Effective prevention and control of invasive species generally relies on a comprehensive , coherent and representative list of species that enables resources to be used optimally. European Union (EU) Regulation 1143/2014 on invasive alien species (IAS) aims to control or eradicate priority species, and to manage pathways to prevent the introduct...
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Human-induced biological invasions are common worldwide and often have negative impacts on wildlife and human societies. Several studies have shown evidence for selection on invaders after introduction to the new range. However, selective processes already acting prior to introduction have been largely neglected. Here we tested whether such early s...
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Understanding factors driving successful invasions is one of the cornerstones of invasion biology. Bird invasions have been frequently used as study models, and the foundation of current knowledge largely relies on species purposefully introduced during the 19th and early 20th centuries in countries colonized by Europeans. However, the profile of e...
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Protected areas are one of the most common strategies for wildlife conservation worldwide. However, their effectiveness is rarely evaluated. In Europe, after the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a restrictive sanitary regulation (EC 1774/2002) prohibited the abandonment of dead livestock in extensive farming (extensive livestock) in th...
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Tool use is widespread among animals and has been under intense study due to its prominence in human society and evolution. A lack of detailed genetic information for wild populations has perpetuated assumptions regarding associations between individual differences in tool use and cognition and learning processes. However, captive birds and mammals...
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Although habitat transformation is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, there are many examples of species successfully occupying and even proliferating in highly human-modified habitats such are the cities. Thus, there is an increasing interest in understanding the drivers favoring urban life for some species. Here, we show how the low ric...
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Behavioral studies are fundamental to understanding how animal populations face global change. Although much research has centered upon the idea that individuals can adaptively modify their behaviors to cope with environmental changes, recent evidence supports the existence of individual differences in suites of correlated behaviors. However, littl...
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Wildlife trade is currently the most important and increasing source of vertebrate invasive species. However, exhaustive analyses of potential side effects of trade regulations on this pathway of introduction are lacking. We addressed this by combining environmental niche models and global trade data on parrots (Psittaciformes), one of the most wid...