Meeting Abstract

S10-2  Sunday, Jan. 7 08:00 - 08:30  Environmental challenges, species interactions, and urban adaptation BONIER, F*; MARTIN, PR; Queen's University

Urbanization represents one of the most extreme transformations of the natural world. Most species cannot persist in urban environments, and yet some species thrive in cities. What determines which species merely persist and which species flourish in urban habitats? Direct, competitive interactions among closely-related species can impact how species respond to an array of environmental challenges, but their potential role in influencing species responses to urbanization is poorly understood. We used a citizen-science approach to compile a dataset spanning 260 of the world’s largest cities and 296 species of bird, to test the role of direct competitive interactions and behavioral dominance in determining the occurrence of closely-related species in cities. We use these data to test predictions of 4 alternative hypotheses, and find convincing evidence to reject 3 of them and support only one. In exploring the breadth of these patterns, we find evidence for interesting variation in the role of competition.