Sound signals of insects are used for mate attraction and in competitive interactions. Acoustic communicationoften takes place in multi-species choruses, where acoustic interference is a common problem.In addition, their ears are also used for predator detection, so that the detection and discrimination ofpredators and mates is not an easy task under such conditions. The acoustic scene relevant for a receiverat a given location may be studied using microphones, but technical receivers differ strongly intheir sensitivity, frequency bandwidth, directionality and temporal integration from insect ears. Thus bothplaced at the same spot in a chorus would tell us different results. We therefore developed a “biologicalmicrophone”, a portable neurophysiological set-up which allows single cell recording of the activity ofauditory interneurons in the actual environment. We thus listen through the ears of the insect, and canstudy the representation of a complex acoustic scene in the insect´s brain. In my talk I will demonstratehow this approach allows studying various important questions regarding the sensory ecology of insects. [mehr]

Beringerkurs (Theorie-Wochenende)

Grundlagen und rechtliche Hintergründe zur Vogelberingung. Ein weiterer Kurs wird im Sommer 2014 angeboten. Interessenten können sich per e-Mail bei uns melden und werden dann benachrichtigt, wenn der nächste Kurstermin (1-2x jährlich) feststeht. [mehr]

Tagung der Beringer und ehrenamtlichen Mitarbeiter

  • Beginn: 08.03.2014 10:00
  • Ende: 09.03.2014 16:00
  • Raum: Gunzenhausen
Diese Wochenend-Tagungen finden einmal jährlich für alle Beringer und an Beringungsprojekten Interessierte statt. Weitere Informationen gehen direkt an die registrierten Beringer. [mehr]
Der Brutbiologische Kurs der Vogelwarte vermittelt Grundkenntnisse zur Arbeit an brutbiologischen Fragestellungen bei Kleinvögeln. [mehr]
The aim of this talk is to introduce the work of the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group, where we investigate sensory and behavioural strategies of interacting predators and prey, and to present some of the past work conducted by the Sensory Ecology Group on species interactions. Auditory information is the main sensory modality of echolocating bats, making them an ideal model system to investigate the sensory mechanisms and evolutionary adaptations of auditory processing. Due to their high intensity, bat echolocation calls are susceptible to eavesdropping by other animals, such as their prey or con- and heterospecific bats. We investigated the interspecific interactions of bats in a combined lab- and field-experiment, particularly testing if bats listen to the echolocation calls of other bats and make use of this information for their own decision making. Listening out for bat calls is even more relevant for prey insects. The strong predator-mediated selection pressure lead to the independent evolution of ears in many insect taxa. To escape from bats, eared moths possess simple ears, consisting of only 1-4 neurons, and a two-staged evasive flight response. Despite this simplicity, we showed that these ears are adapted to the species-specific predation pressure posed by their sympatric bat community and that they enable just-in-time evasive flight across multiple bat species that differ in the amount of predation threat. In contrast, predators generally experience a lower selection pressure to counter prey defences. Thus, evidence for a coevolved bat counterstrategy to moth hearing had been ambiguous. The barbastelle bat, however, is able to prey almost exclusively on eared moths by emitting low-amplitude calls, which are inaudible to moths, costly for the bat, and are derived from a high-intensity ancestral state, suggesting they are an adaptation to moth hearing. Our current work uses eared moths and echolocating bats as model system to study auditory guided flight at two extremes of sensory processing, focusing on dynamic biosonar emission and perception, and on behavioural variability as anti-predator adaptation. [mehr]

Vielfalt, Diskriminierung und Respekt im Arbeitsumfeld

Talk Steffen Giessner

Regular German Classes

German Classes
Regular German classes to practice and improve your German with the guidance of a professional instructor: Thursdays, 14:30-16:00! [mehr]

The Evolution of Beauty

Talk Richard Prum
Most contemporary research in sexual selection assumes that sexual display traits are honest indicators of mate quality or provide mate choice efficiency. I propose that these adaptive mate choice mechanisms are insufficient to explain the complexity and diversity of sexual ornaments in the natural world. I expand upon Darwin‘s original view of mate choice as a mechanism of aesthetic evolution, which requires sensory perception, sensory/cognitive evaluation, and choice. As Darwin hypothesized, aesthetic evolution places the explanation of the evolution of individual subjective preferences at the center of scientific inquiry. A fundamental feature of aesthetic evolution is the coevolution of ornament and the evaluations of them. In this context, beauty can be defined as the subjective experience of coevolved attraction. Aesthetic evolutionary process occurs in many contexts including mate choice, pollination, frugivory, aposematism, mimicry, and offspring ornaments. In mate choice, the fully aesthetic Fisherian mechanism of trait-preference coevolution, as modeled by Lande-Kirkpatrick, is the appropriate null model. The LK null model must be must be rejected before adaptive mate choice explanations can be accepted. Aesthetic coevolution is not limited to non-human animals. Rather, the intrinsically coevolutionary dynamics found in many natural systems also characterize the process of aesthetic change in the human arts. [mehr]

Acoustic communication and vocal production learning in bats

Talk Mirjam Knörnschild
Acoustic signals are by far the best studied component of bats’ social communication. Various different vocalization types accompany diverse social interactions, such as mother-pup recognition, male-male aggression, territoriality and courtship. Rich vocal repertoires might be a by-product of the bats’ excellent control over their vocal tract which is necessary for echolocation. Correspondingly, bats comprise one of the few mammalian orders capable of vocal production learning. In my talk, I will summarize the current knowledge about learned vocalizations in a Neotropical bat, the greater sac-winged bat Saccopteryx bilineata. This species is one of the most thoroughly studied bats with regard to its natural history and social communication in the wild. Male S. bilineata sing to repel rivals and attract mates. Moreover, the vocalizations of males and females encode different vocal signatures (individual-, sex- and group-specific) facilitating social communication. Juvenile S. bilineata are capable of vocal production learning, namely the social modification of an innate, naturally selected vocalization type (pup isolation call) and the learned acquisition of a sexually selected vocalization type (male territorial song). [mehr]

Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics of Waders

Talk Clemens Küpper, Seewiesen

Fledermäuse & Nachtfalter: Akustische Räuber-Beute-Interaktionen am Nachthimmel

Vortrag Holger Goerlitz
Erfolgreiche Nahrungssuche ist genauso wie Räubervermeidung eine zentrale Vorraussetzung für das Überleben von Tieren. In Räuber-Beute-Interaktionen stehen diese beiden Verhaltensweisen in direkter Konkurrenz zueinander und bieten ideale Möglichkeiten, um die Anpassungen tierischer Sinnessysteme und tierischen Verhaltens zu untersuchen. Im Falle von echoortenden Fledermäusen und hörenden Nachtfaltern finden diese Interaktionen im Dunkeln statt und beruhen daher ausschließlich auf akustischer Information. Fledermäuse nutzen ihre lauten Ultraschall-Rufe, um sich zu orientieren und Insekten zu fangen. Als Anpassung an den Räuberdruck durch Fledermäuse sind im Zuge der Evolution in vielen Insekten Ohren entstanden, mit deren Hilfe sie Fledermäuse hören können und verschiedene Abwehrstrategien auslösen können. In diesem Vortrag möchte ich an drei Beispielen zeigen, wie die sensorischen Strategien von Beute- und Räuberorganismen interagieren und an die Anforderungen ihrer belebten und unbelebten Umwelt angepasst sind. Ich gehe erstens der Frage nach, wie das Gehör der Nachtfalter, trotz seiner extremen Einfachheit, die unterschiedliche Gefahr, die von verschiedenen Fledermausarten ausgeht, korrekt bewerten kann. Als zweites bespreche ich Anpassungen auf seiten der Echoortung an das Gehör der Nachtfalter. Zwar gelten Fledermäuse und Nachtfalter als Lehrbuchbeispiel von Räuber-Beute-Koevolution, jedoch sind die entsprechenden Belege dafür gering. Die Echoortung der Mopsfledermaus hingegen zeigt eine Anpassung, die dieser Fledermaus die Erbeutung hörender Nachtfalter ermöglicht. Als letztes gehe ich auf die Nachteile der Echoortung ein, und die Hypothese, dass Fledermäuse diese Nachteile durch die opportunistische Nutzung anderer Informationen ausgleichen. Wir zeigen, dass Hufeisennasen die Raschelgeräusche von Faltern nutzen, um das räumliche Muster ihrer Echoortung zu lenken. [mehr]

Coping with challenges: plasticity, repeatability and evolution of hormonal phenotypes

Talk Michaela Hau, Seewiesen
Hormones mediate individual decisions on behavior and life history strategies depending on internal and external conditions. The glucocorticoid hormone corticosterone (CORT) is involved in metabolic processes and thus facilitates adjustments in behavior and life history strategies to energetic circumstances. Vertebrate populations can show substantial within- and among-individual variation in circulating CORT concentrations, raising questions on the causes of such variation and its phenotypic consequences. Furthermore, to understand evolutionary processes we need to determine whether CORT traits of individuals are repeatable and heritable, whether they are related to fitness components and which selection pressures they may underlie. To approach these questions, we assessed relationships among CORT traits, behavior, internal and environmental challenges and fitness in individual great tits (Parus major), combining field and captive studies. In great tits, circulating CORT concentrations were related to behavioral phenotypes including exploratory behavior, parental investment, and pair bond dynamics. Circulating baseline CORT concentrations were also related to reproductive success in wild great tits. Even though CORT concentrations showed considerable within- and among-individual variation, we found significant repeatabilities for CORT traits, especially when environmental variation was reduced in captivity. Given the high sensitivity of CORT concentrations to both internal and external cues, we have begun to test whether individuals exhibit consistent reaction norms in CORT traits, which may constitute an important component of an individual’s hormonal organization. Our work aims at elucidating evolutionary patterns in hormonal phenotypes of wild avian populations. [mehr]

Tag der offenen Tür in Seewiesen

Tag der offenen Tür in Seewiesen
Veranstaltung für die Öffentlichkeit [mehr]

Susanne Schindler, University of Bristol: Contests with outsiders can lead to conflicts within social groups

Talk Susanne Schindler, Seewiesen
In many social species, from hymenoptera to primates, group members contribute to repel outsiders. Which group members get involved into the repulsion and at what level of involvement is not yet fully understood; sometimes sub-ordinates (helpers) sacrifice themselves in the action and at other times, group members refuse to assist their breeders. Repellent actions are costly, both for the individual and the dependent young, and there might be a point when winning a contest requires that much involvement that the fitness return from winning is lower than the fitness return from losing the contest without getting involved in the first place. This point can differ among group members and thus, the interests in how much and how long effort is spent in a contest can clash within the group. We calculate the inclusive fitness of each group member and identify when the interests of group members over getting involved into a contest with an outsider diverge and thus, when within-group conflict is likely to occur. [mehr]
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