Coastal, wetland, island and marine ecosystems have been largely modified during the last century making them especially vulnerable to global change threats. In the Mediterranean basin over the last few decades, major socio-economic changes have increased the negative impact of human activity, mainly along the coasts, pushing many endemic species on the edge of extinction. The ability of populations to respond to environmental changes, and their speed, will depend on the existence of individual behavioural variability. The study of the relation between individual behaviours in response to environmental conditions (climatic factors, biotic relations and derived from socio-economic activities) and their demographic consequences, establish a key framework to investigate the role of present threats and of the future scenarios previsions on the dynamics and conservation of potentially vulnerable species. The present project aims to study the demographic and spatio-temporal population dynamics consequences of different individual life-history tactics in response to global change threats of three Mediterranean waterbirds: the Greater flamingo , the Audouin’s gull and the Cory’s shearwater. This proposal establishes a combination of state of the art modelling techniques, statistical tools and behavioural and individual-based information. This will imply estimating the individual behavioural responses to environmental conditions, their demographic parameters and applying matrix population models to explore the consequences of such behaviours. The project will be developed in a top European research centre – CEFE-CNRS, France – which provides highly expert background in complex statistical analysis and advanced modelling techniques. The project will count on the collaboration of two research centres –IMEDEA, Spain and the the Tour du Valat Biological Station, France– which provides the long-term datasets of the species and expert background in their natural history.
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