Food supplementation mitigates dispersal-dependent differences in nest defence in a passerine bird

Charlotte Récapet, Gregory Daniel, Joelle Taroni, Pierre Bize, Blandine Doligez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Dispersing and non-dispersing individuals often differ in phenotypic traits (e.g. physiology, behaviour), but to what extent these differences are fixed or driven by external conditions remains elusive. We experimentally tested whether differences in nest-defence behaviour between dispersing and non-dispersing individuals changed with local habitat quality in collared flycatchers, by providing additional food during the nestling rearing period. In control (non-food-supplemented) nests, dispersers were less prone to defend their brood compared with non-dispersers, whereas in food-supplemented nests, dispersing and non-dispersing individuals showed equally strong nest
defence. We discuss the importance of dispersal costs versus adaptive flexibility in reproductive investment in shaping these differences in nest-defence behaviour between dispersing and non-dispersing individuals. Irrespective of the underlying mechanisms, our study emphasizes the importance of
accounting for environmental effects when comparing traits between dispersing and non-dispersing individuals, and in turn assessing the costs and benefits of dispersal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20160097
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2016

Keywords

  • dispersal
  • anti-predator behaviour
  • parental care
  • personality
  • habitat quality
  • Ficedula albicollis

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