Species communities on tropical mountains are typified by ‘elevational turnover’, where related species replace one another at different elevations, often occupying elevational ranges spanning just a few hundred metres. Three particular factors have been suggested as the main drivers of such patterns- changing ecotones (habitat transitions), physiological tolerance (the upper and lower temperature limits in which a species can physically survive) and competition (where interspecific aggression at shared distributional boundaries restricts elevational ranges). The relationship between each of these factors remains unclear, however.
The ‘pace of life’ in tropical birds is known to be slower than temperate species in that tropical species typically have lower metabolic rates. Additionally, the relatively constant conditions in tropical forests allows for extended breeding seasons where sedentary lifestyles and year-round territoriality are common. How this ‘pace of life’ translates into the behavioural energetics of territorial competition in tropical birds remains little known. More broadly, the physiological ecology of tropical birds remains poorly-known despite key life-history differences to temperate species.
To investigate these two topics, I study songbirds of the forest understorey, particularly Nightingale-thrushes (Catharus sp.) in Central America using a variety of physiological and behavioural research methods. My research is fieldwork based and takes place in high elevation cloud forests of Cusuco National Park, Honduras.
, Royal Holloway University of London
, Institute of Zoology, ZSL
imperial College London
For a full list of publications see or
Bladon, A.J. Donald, P.F, Jones, S.E.I., Collar, N.J., Denge, J. Dadacha, G., Abebbe, Y., Green, R.E. (in press) Behavioural thermoregulation and climatic range restriction in the globally threatened Ethiopian Bush‐crow Zavattariornis stresemanni. Ibis
Neate-Clegg, M.H., Jones, S.E.I, Burdekin, O., Jocque, M., & Şekercioğlu, Ç.H. (2018) Elevational changes in the avian community of a Mesoamerican cloud forest park. Biotropica. 50: 805-815
Jones, S.E.I., Bladon, A.J., Collar, N.J., Denge, J., Dadacha, G., Donald, P.F. (2018) Generalist diet and opportunistic foraging in the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni; an endangered generalist. Ostrich 89: 41-46
Jones S.E.I., Clause J.K., Geeraert L., Jamie G.A., Sumbane E., van Berkel, T. and Jocque M. (2017) The Njesi Plateau expedition: a biological assessment of Mt Chitagal, Mt Sanga and the Njesi Plateau in Niassa Province, Mozambique. BES Report 6.3 (25 October 2017). Biodiversity Inventory for Conservation. Glabbeek, Belgium, 80 pp.