Katrin Böhning-Gaese

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The causes of variation in animal species richness at large spatial scales are intensively debated. Here, we examine whether the diversity of food plants, contemporary climate and energy, or habitat heterogeneity determine species richness patterns of avian frugivores across sub-Saharan Africa. Path models indicate that species richness of Ficus (their(More)
Many plants depend on frugivorous animals for the dispersal of their seeds. However, it is only poorly known whether regional differences in frugivore diversity have consequences for seed dispersal, seedling establishment, and the spatial distribution of seedlings and trees. This comparative study of seed dispersal investigated the consequences of regional(More)
The range size of a species can be determined by its current traits and by phylogenetic and biogeographic factors. However, only rarely have these factors been studied in combination. We use data on the geographic range sizes of all 26 Sylvia warblers to explicitly test whether range size was determined by current species-specific traits (e.g., body size,(More)
Traits such as clutch size vary markedly across species and environmental gradients but have usually been investigated from either a comparative or a geographic perspective, respectively. We analyzed the global variation in clutch size across 5,290 bird species, excluding brood parasites and pelagic species. We integrated intrinsic (morphological,(More)
To understand the evolution of ecological niches it is important to know whether niche evolution is constrained by phylogeny. We approached this question for Sylvia warblers by testing if closely related species are more similar in 20 ecologically relevant morphological traits than distantly related species. Phylogenetic relatedness was quantified using a(More)
Modularity is a recurrent and important property of bipartite ecological networks. Although well-resolved ecological networks describe interaction frequencies between species pairs, modularity of bipartite networks has been analysed only on the basis of binary presence-absence data. We employ a new algorithm to detect modularity in weighted bipartite(More)
Species-rich tropical communities are expected to be more specialized than their temperate counterparts. Several studies have reported increasing biotic specialization toward the tropics, whereas others have not found latitudinal trends once accounting for sampling bias or differences in plant diversity. Thus, the direction of the latitudinal specialization(More)
Frugivorous birds provide important ecosystem services by transporting seeds of fleshy fruited plants. It has been assumed that seed-dispersal kernels generated by these animals are generally leptokurtic, resulting in little dispersal among habitat fragments. However, little is known about the seed-dispersal distribution generated by large frugivorous birds(More)
Human activities such as fragmentation and selective logging of forests can threaten population viability by modification of ecological and genetic processes. Using six microsatellite markers, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and local disturbance on the genetic diversity and structure of adult trees (N = 110) and seedlings (N = 110) of(More)
The degree of interdependence and potential for shared coevolutionary history of frugivorous animals and fleshy-fruited plants are contentious topics. Recently, network analyses revealed that mutualistic relationships between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores are mostly built upon generalized associations. However, little is known about the determinants(More)