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The role of individual differences in defining a species niche

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Many predictive models of the spatial and temporal distribution of species (e.g. in response to climate change or species introductions) assume that species have one environmental niche that applies to all individuals. However, there is growing evidence that individuals within a species can have individual niches that are narrower than the species niche (“individual specialization”). Individual specialization has mainly been studied in terms of dietary niches, but recent tracking data also allows analysis of individual specialization in terms of abiotic environmental niche. In this project, I develop a method to quantify individual specialization in environmental space and apply it to a data set of Black-browed albatrosses.

This talk is part of the Zoology Graduate Seminars series.

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