Cooperative Research Units
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Songbirds in Tropical Rainforests


April 2017 - March 2020


The ecological consequences of climate change have focused on effects of temperature and ignored the effects of rain. Yet, rainfall also is changing. Lab studies have demonstrated that wetting increases thermal conductance and energy expenditure of adult and juvenile endotherms, and rain may constrain foraging (energy acquisition). Any such energy constraints may be particularly significant when parents are trying to meet the needs of growing offspring, such that rain may play a critical role in demography and adaptive trait evolution of endotherms during reproduction. This may be particularly important in tropical rainforests where rain is prevalent, thermal tolerances are narrow, and temperatures are below thermoneutral levels. In response, animals may have evolved behavioral strategies and nest structures (enclosed vs open nests) to affect exposure to rain. Studies of the effects of rainfall on energetics and behavior across diverse species and nest types are lacking


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 100

Masters Students: 237

Phd Students: 155

Post Docs: 56

University Staff: 246

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 714

Scientific Publications: 1979

Presentations: 4410



Funding Agencies

  • National Science Foundation


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey