DNA metabarcoding Passerine bird feces at tree-line uncovers little intra- and inter-species dietary overlap

Jamie Bookwalter*, Afaq Mohamed Niyas, Berta Caballero, Caterina Villari, Jana Marco, Albert Burgas, Mariona Ferrandiz Rovira, Bernat Claramunt Lopez

*Autor corresponent d’aquest treball

Producció científica: Contribució a una revistaArticleRecercaAvaluat per experts

1 Citació (Scopus)
1 Descàrregues (Pure)


High-elevation insectivorous birds are currently confronted with the reality of a changing climate, land use shifts, and the decline of many prey groups. The diet dynamics among many imperiled animals in this group are still unresolved. Examining the diets of tree-line Passerine birds to the species level of the prey allows for stronger population predictions. This study uses DNA metabarcoding to identify prey arthropods from adult Passerine bird feces at and slightly below tree-line in a Pyrenean forest. Our objective was to quantify the intra-and inter-species richness and overlap of Passerine bird diet over time and space. The results showed that adult Passerine diets have high inter- and intra-species dietary variability and low inter- and intra-species dietary overlap. The lack of association between dietary richness and open space, season, and elevation and lack of differences between dietary overlap and open space and elevation suggest high-elevation Passerine birds have very high dietary flexibility. The results also showed that aphids known to be pests to conifers, and other conifer pests, were prevalent in the birds’ diets. The Passerine diets and high rate of rare dietary items are mainly in line with other recent DNA metabarcoding studies. Implications for the long-term projections relative to tree-line Passerine populations are discussed.

Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)147-157
Nombre de pàgines11
RevistaCommunity Ecology
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 4 de jul. 2023


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