Daniel P. Shustack

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Certain exotic plants may increase risk of nest predation, and, in this way, may act as ecological traps. We hypothesized that the greater vulnerability to predation was a consequence of either (1) reduced nest height due to architectural differences among plant species or (2) seasonal changes in the distribution of nests among forest strata. To test this,(More)
1. Despite the fact that studies of urban ecology have become commonplace in the literature, ecologists still lack empirical evidence of the underlying mechanisms responsible for relationships between urbanization and animal community structure. In an effort to understand the processes that govern an apparent avoidance of urban landscapes by many(More)
Despite the widespread recognition that urban areas are frequently dominated by exotic and invasive plants, the consequences of these changes in community structure have not been explicitly considered as an explanation for the pattern of advanced leaf phenology, or early greenup, reported in many urban areas. As such, we evaluated two hypotheses that could(More)
Population responses of synanthropic species to urbanization may be explained by the resource-matching rule, which postulates that individuals should distribute themselves according to resource availability. According to the resource-matching rule, urban habitats will contain greater densities if they provide better resources than rural habitats. However,(More)
—Biologists know relatively little of how one of the most important avian phenotypic signals, feather coloration, may be affected by anthropogenic changes resulting from urbanization. We examined the relationship between urbanization and carotenoid-based plumage color of Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) in 13 riparian forests distributed across a(More)
The extent to which resource subsidies affect food web dynamics is poorly understood in anthropogenic landscapes. To better understand how species interactions are influenced by subsidies, we studied breeding birds and nest predators along a rural-to-urban landscape gradient that varied in subsidies provided to generalist predators. We hypothesized that(More)
Human activities can alter selective environments in ways that can reduce the usefulness of certain ornamental traits as honest signals of individual quality and, in some cases, may create evolutionary traps, where rapid changes in selective environments result in maladaptive behavioral decisions. Using the sexually dichromatic, socially monogamous Northern(More)
Anthropogenic changes to ecosystems can decouple habitat selection and quality, a phenomenon well illustrated by ecological traps in which individuals mistakenly prefer low-quality habitats. Less recognized is the possibility that individuals might fail to select high-quality habitat because of the absence of some appropriate cue. This incorrect assessment(More)
The tendency for birds to reproduce earlier in the season has been observed in urban compared to rural populations, but these observations are limited primarily to species that spend all or most of the year in North America (i.e., resident or short-distance migrants). However, the factors that influence the reproductive timing of resident and short-distance(More)
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