Nathan R. Senner

Nathan R. Senner
University of South Carolina | USC · Department of Biological Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

76
Publications
34,968
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1,338
Citations
Introduction
Nathan R. Senner is an Assistant Professor in Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Nathan does research in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology.
Additional affiliations
August 2007 - December 2012
Cornell University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Nearly 20% of all bird species migrate between breeding and nonbreeding sites annually. Their migrations include storied feats of endurance and physiology, from non-stop trans-Pacific crossings to flights at the cruising altitudes of jetliners. Despite intense interest in these performances, there remains great uncertainty about which factors most...
Article
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Stopovers comprise a significant proportion of the time that many birds spend migrating, and researchers have long relied on these events to define and classify broader migratory strategies. Analyses of stopovers often assume that individuals stop primarily or exclusively in order to replenish energy stores, but other non-fueling behaviors have als...
Article
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Abstract Maintaining the biodiversity of agricultural ecosystems has become a global imperative. Across Europe, species that occupy agricultural grasslands, such as black‐tailed godwits (Limosa limosa limosa), have undergone steep population declines. In this context, there is a significant need to both determine the root causes of these declines a...
Article
Climate change has caused shifts in seasonally recurring biological events leading to the temporal decoupling of consumer‐resource pairs – i.e., phenological mismatching. Although mismatches often affect individual fitness, they do not invariably scale up to affect populations, making it difficult to assess the risk they pose. Individual variation...
Preprint
The rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) is a migratory shorebird that performs one of the longest known trans-hemispheric migrations of any bird species - from their breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic to their nonbreeding grounds as far south as Tierra del Fuego - and they have experienced a population decline of over 85% in recent decades....
Article
The development of technologies to slow climate change has been identified as a global imperative. Nonetheless, such 'green' technologies can potentially have negative impacts on biodiversity. We explored how climate change and the mining of lithium for green technologies influence surface water availability, primary productivity and the abundance...
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Background Conditions encountered en route can dramatically impact the energy that migratory species spend on movement. Migratory birds often manage energetic costs by adjusting their behavior in relation to wind conditions as they fly. Wind-influenced behaviors can offer insight into the relative importance of risk and resistance during migration,...
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Animals weigh multiple costs and benefits when making grouping decisions. The cost‐avoidance grouping framework proposes that group density, information quality and risk affect an individual’s preference for con or heterospecific groups. However, this assumes the cost–benefit balance of a particular grouping is constant spatiotemporally, which may...
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1. Longitudinal tracking studies have revealed consistent differences in the migration patterns of individuals from the same populations. The sources or processes causing this individual variation are largely unresolved. As a result, it is mostly unknown how much, how fast, and when animals can adjust their migrations to changing environments. 2. W...
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Phenotypic flexibility allows individuals to reversibly modify trait values and theory predicts an individual's relative degree of flexibility positively correlates with the environmental het-erogeneity it experiences. We test this prediction by integrating surveys of population genetic and physiological variation with thermal acclimation experimen...
Article
Interspecific aggression may shape species distributions through competitive exclusion, resulting in spatial segregation, or facilitate sym-patry as an adaptive mechanism for resource partitioning. Competitive exclusion results from asymmetric aggression of one species towards another, but if the aggressive relationship between species is symmetric...
Article
en The central-peripheral hypothesis states that the demographic performance of a species decreases from the centre to the edge of its range. Peripheral populations are often smaller and tend to occur under different and suboptimal conditions from those of core populations. Peripheral populations can also coexist during part of their annual cycle w...
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When species are continuously distributed across environmental gradients, the relative strength of selection and gene flow shape spatial patterns of genetic variation, potentially leading to variable levels of differentiation across loci. Determining whether adaptive genetic variation tends to be structured differently than neutral variation along...
Preprint
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Phenotypic flexibility allows individuals to reversibly modify trait values and theory predicts an individual’s relative degree of flexibility positively correlates with the environmental heterogeneity it experiences. We tested this prediction by integrating surveys of population genetic and physiological variation with thermal acclimation experime...
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Conservation status and management priorities are often informed by population trends. Trend estimates can be derived from population surveys or models, but both methods are associated with sources of uncertainty. Many Arctic-breeding shorebirds are thought to be declining based on migration and/or overwintering population surveys, but data are lac...
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In this paper, we extend our understanding of the migration of Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa limosa) by describing: (1) the orientation and geographic locations of individual migratory routes and (2) the spatial distribution of godwits across seasons and years. We accomplish this using satellite-tracking data from 36 adult godwits breeding in...
Article
Flexibility in heat generation and dissipation mechanisms provides endotherms the ability to match their thermoregulatory strategy with external demands. However, the degree to which these two mechanisms account for seasonal changes in body temperature regulation is little explored. Here we present novel data on the regulation of avian body tempera...
Article
Events during one stage of the annual cycle can reversibly affect an individual’s condition and performance not only within that stage, but also in subsequent stages (i.e., reversible state effects). Despite strong conceptual links, however, few studies have been able to empirically link individual‐level reversible state effects with larger‐scale d...
Preprint
Flexibility in heat generation and dissipation mechanisms provides endotherms the ability to match their thermoregulatory strategy with external demands. However, the degree to which these two mechanisms account for seasonal changes in body temperature regulation is unexplored. Here we present novel data on the regulation of avian body temperature...
Article
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Long‐term population studies can identify changes in population dynamics over time. However, to realize meaningful conclusions, these studies rely on accurate measurements of individual traits and population characteristics. Here, we evaluate the accuracy of the observational methods used to measure reproductive traits in individually marked black‐...
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Egg sizes of birds vary considerably at the population level; the largest eggs are generally at least 50% larger than the smallest eggs within a population (Christians 2002). Such variation could result from consistent differences in egg size among individuals. These consistent differences among individuals, in turn, could be the result of consiste...
Article
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Long-distance migratory flights are predicted to be associated with higher mortality rates when individuals encounter adverse weather conditions. However, directly connecting environmental conditions experienced in-flight with the survival of migrants has proven difficult. We studied how the in-flight mortality of 53 satellite-tagged Black-tailed G...
Article
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Kubelka et al . (Reports, 9 November 2018, p. 680) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their claims.
Article
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Responses to climate change can vary across functional groups and trophic levels, leading to a temporal decoupling of trophic interactions or ‘phenological mismatches.’ Despite a growing number of single‐species studies that identified phenological mismatches as a nearly universal consequence of climate change, we have a limited understanding of th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Kubelka et al. (Science, 9 November 2018, p. 680-683) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their clai...
Article
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Few studies have been able to directly measure the seasonal survival rates of migratory species or determine how variable the timing of migration is within individuals and across populations over multiple years. As such, it remains unclear how likely migration is to affect the population dynamics of migratory species and how capable migrants may be...
Article
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The adult sex ratio (ASR) is a crucial component of the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping the dynamics of a population. Although in many declining populations ASRs have been reported to be skewed, empirical studies exploring the demographic factors shaping ASRs are still rare. In this study of the socially monogamous and sexually dimorphic...
Article
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Variation in migratory behavior is the result of different individual strategies and fluctuations in individual performances. A first step toward understanding these differences in migratory behavior among individuals is, therefore, to assess the relative contributions of inter- and intra-individual differences to this variation. We did this using...
Article
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1.Elevations >2000 m represent consistently harsh environments for small endotherms because of abiotic stressors such as cold temperatures and hypoxia. 2.These environmental stressors may limit the ability of populations living at these elevations to respond to biotic selection pressures — such as parasites or pathogens — that in other environmenta...
Book
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Las costas de Chile son visitadas cada año por miles de aves playeras provenientes de la región Neártica y Neotropical. En nuestro país convergen las rutas migratorias norteamericanas del Atlántico y Pacífico, brindando abundante alimento, sitios de descanso y reproducción a numerosas especies. Diversos estudios en los últimos años han logrado leva...
Article
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The costs and benefits of interactions among species can vary spatially or temporally, making them context-dependent. For example, benefits associated with nesting near species that deter predators may give way to costs if the association increases the risk of pre-dation during other stages of reproduction. We examined the extent to which the costs...
Article
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Capsule: Most Continental Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa using the Doñana wetlands during post-breeding migration appear to begin moult before they arrive and suspend moult before they migrate onwards to West Africa. Aims: We aim to describe the primary moult strategies and patterns in the Continental Black-tailed Godwits using the Doñan...
Article
Saline lakes are threatened globally and provide critical habitat for a diverse array of migratory and breeding waterbirds. The ability of large numbers of waterbirds to profitably use saline lakes is primarily dependent upon concentrations of invertebrate fauna that are only present within a narrow range of salinities. Additionally, waterbirds the...
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In response to environmental change, species have been observed altering their migratory behaviours. Few studies, however, have been able to determine whether these alterations resulted from inherited, plastic or flexible changes. Here, we present a unique observation of a rapid population-level shift in migratory routes-over 300 km from Spain to P...
Article
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Seasonal declines in breeding performance are widespread in wild animals, resulting from temporal changes in environmental conditions or from individual variation. Seasonal declines might drive selection for early breeding, with implications for other stages of the annual cycle. Alternatively, selection on the phenology of nonbreeding stages could...
Article
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Many Arctic shorebird populations are declining, and quantifying adult survival and the effects of anthropogenic factors is a crucial step toward a better understanding of population dynamics. We used a recently developed, spatially explicit Cormack-Jolly-Seber model in a Bayesian framework to obtain broad-scale estimates of true annual survival ra...
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The Arctic is experiencing rapidly warming temperatures, increasing predator abundance, and diminishing population cycles of keystone species such as lemmings. However, it is still not known how many Arctic animals will respond to a changing climate with altered trophic interactions. We studied clutch size, incubation duration, and nest survival of...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal declines in breeding performance are widespread in wild animals, resulting from temporal changes in environmental conditions or from individual variation. Seasonal declines might drive selection for early breeding, with implications for other stages of the annual cycle. Alternatively, selection on the phenology of nonbreeding stages could...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change has already caused local declines and extinctions. These losses are generally thought to occur because climate change is progressing too rapidly for populations to keep pace. Based on this hypothesis, numerous predictive frameworks have been developed to project future range shifts and changes in population dynamics resulting...
Article
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Sub-arctic environments are undergoing rapid changes. For instance, woody shrubs are encroaching into previously open habitats, and booming goose (Chen caerulescens and Branta canadensis) populations are creating vast areas of bare mud. Across the region, these changes are likely to diminish the amount and quality of breeding habitat for imperiled...
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Context Species distributions are driven by a wide variety of abiotic and biotic factors, including nest placement for breeding individuals. As such, the spatial distribution of nests within a landscape can reflect environmental heterogeneity, habitat preferences, or even interactions with predators and other species. Objectives We determined th...
Article
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Salinization is having a major impact on wetlands and its biota worldwide. Specifically, many migratory animals that rely on wetlands are increasingly exposed to elevated salinity on their nonbreeding grounds. Experimental evidence suggests that physiological challenges associated with increasing salinity may disrupt self-maintenance processes in t...
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The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migra...
Article
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Migrating long distances requires time and energy, and may interact with an indi-vidual's performance during breeding. These seasonal interactions in migratory animals are best described in populations with disjunct nonbreeding distributions. The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa limosa), which breeds in agricultural grasslands in Western Europe,...
Article
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Costs of migration, in terms of time, energy, and mortality risk, have a strong theoretical and empirical foundation in the study of birds. We expect these costs to be most severe for extreme long-distance migratory landbirds, whose demanding annual routines (e.g. non-stop flights  8000 km and return journeys  30 000 km) may approach their maximu...
Article
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The behavioural rhythms of organisms are thought to be under strong selection, influenced by the rhythmicity of the environment. Such behavioural rhythms are well studied in isolated individuals under laboratory conditions, but free-living individuals have to temporally synchronize their activities with those of others, including potential mates, c...
Article
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Over the past 50 years, the population of Continental Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa breeding of the East Atlantic Flyway has been in steep decline. This decline has previously been documented in trend analyses and six Netherlands-wide count-based population estimates, the last of which was completed in 1999. We provide an updated popula...
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The behavioural rhythms of organisms are thought to be under strong selection, influenced by the rhythmicity of the environment1-4. Such behavioural rhythms are well studied in isolated individuals under laboratory conditions1,5, but free-living individuals have to temporally synchronize their activities with those of others, including potential ma...
Article
The conservation of migratory birds requires internationally coordinated efforts that, in turn, demand an understanding of population dynamics and connectivity throughout a species’ range. Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) are a widespread long-distance migratory shorebird with two disparate North American breeding populations. Monitoring efforts sugge...
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Annual routines of migratory birds inferred from archival solar geolocation devices have never before been confirmed using GPS technologies. A female black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa captured on the breeding grounds in The Netherlands in 2013 and recaptured in 2014 was outfitted with both an Intigeo geolocator and an UvA-BiTS GPS-tracker. T...