Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Relationships between vital rates and ecological traits in an avian community


Bellier, Edwige; Kéry, Marc; Schaub, Michael (2019), Data from: Relationships between vital rates and ecological traits in an avian community, Dryad, Dataset,


1. Comparative studies about the relationships between vital rates and ecological traits at the community level are conspicuously lacking for most taxa because estimating vital rates requires detailed demographic data. Identifying relationships between vital rates and ecological traits could help to better understand ecological and evolutionary demographic mechanisms that lead to interspecific differences in vital rates. 2. We use novel dynamic N-mixture models for counts to achieve this for a whole avian community comprising 53 passerine species, while simultaneously accounting for density dependence and environmental stochasticity in recruitment and survival and, importantly, correcting our inferences for imperfect detection. Demographic stochasticity is taken into account in the form of the binomial and Poisson distributions describing survival events and number of recruits. We then explore relationships between estimated demographic parameters (i.e., vital rates) and ecological traits related to migration patterns, diet, habitat and nesting location of each species. 3. The relative importance of recruitment and adult survival as contributors to population growth varied greatly among species, and interspecific differences in vital rates partly reflected differences in ecological traits. Migratory mode was associated with interspecific differences in population growth and density dependence. Resident species had higher population growth rates than long- and short-distance migrants. We found no relationships between diet and population growth rate. Habitat differences were associated with different growth rates: alpine, wetland, and farmland species had lower population growth rates than forest species. Differences in population growth rates among nesting locations showed that breeding habitat is essential for population dynamics. 4. Our study reveals relationships between ecological traits and contributions of vital rates to population growth and suggests ways in which patterns of population growth fluctuations in a community might be determined by life history.

Usage Notes