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Reassessment of trophic mismatches in Arctic shorebirds

PhD ceremony:Mr M. (Misha) Zhemchuzhnikov
When:March 05, 2024
Supervisors:prof. dr. J.A. van Gils, prof. dr. T. (Theunis) Piersma
Co-supervisor:dr. T. Lameris
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering
Reassessment of trophic mismatches in Arctic shorebirds

Warming climate induces profound changes in natural environment. Among all it can disrupt or reshape existing food webs. That may result in trophic mismatches, e.g., disordering of trophic interactions between carnivore and its prey. These climatic changes are occurring with much faster rates in Arctic areas. Thus, disrupting of the food webs in Arctic may also occur faster. Numerous of studies are devoted to the mismatch phenomena in insectivorous shorebirds feeding on the tundra arthropods. Nevertheless, the evidences that those disruptions lead to any fitness consequences are currently rather slim. In his thesis Misha Zhemchuzhnikov aims to inspect and challenge the currently widely accepted ideas on how trophic mismatches should be measured by critically reviewing literature on trophic mismatches in birds and their effects on fitness, showing the importance on detailed data on food availability and diet for measuring mismatches, and how these data may be applied for better understanding of shorebirds ecology in changing Arctic.