This week the department is pleased to welcome Marc Bélisle from the Université de Sherbrooke.
Aerial insectivorous birds experience severe population declines in many parts of North America and Europe. Because many of these species nest above ground in or close to farmlands, the principal cause of their decline has been hypothesized to result from a decreased food availability mainly due to pesticides. Yet pesticides can have both toxicological and trophic effects on birds. Moreover, the amount and diversity of pesticides found in the environment must depend largely upon the type of agriculture performed. In turn, agriculture dictates landscape structure, which also affects insect populations and communities. This talk will present how an army of students is starting to disentangle the links among agricultural landscape composition, prey availability and contamination by pesticides, on various individual performance proxies of Tree Swallows. Most of the results that will be showed origin from a 14-year study of individually-marked Tree Swallows breeding within a network of 400 nest boxes distributed among 40 farms located along a 10 200 km2 gradient of agricultural intensification in southern Québec.
The EEB Seminars run weekly, on Thursdays, in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:30-1:30pm. This week’s seminar will be followed by a pizza lunch outside the seminar room.