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Habitat selection

demography and individual decisions

Arlt, Debora (2007). Habitat selection. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2007:17
ISBN 978-91-576-7316-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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Habitat selection is the behavioural process determining the distribution of individuals among habitats varying in quality, thus affecting individual fitness and population growth. Models of population dynamics often assume that individuals have perfect knowledge about habitat qualities and settle accordingly in the best habitats available. Many studies of dispersal have focused on the movements of individuals away from a site, but knowledge on settlement decisions is still scarce. I investigated settlement and departure decisions in a long-distant migrant, the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), breeding in a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. First, I investigated the settlement of wheatears choosing a new territory at the time of territory establishment in spring. I show that territory selection is non-ideal as wheatears did not prefer territories with characteristics most closely predicting individual fitness. Second, I studied the territory selection of experienced breeders which may use many potential cues as they have been breeding in the same area before. The results show that information gathering of experienced breeders is constrained, and that they cannot always settle at a preferred site probably because of the earlier establishment by other individuals. Third, I show that such a priority constraint in territory site selection may be a proximate cause for female-biased dispersal in wheatears and possibly in many other bird species. Fourth, as a first step to link habitat selection behaviour and population dynamics, I investigated habitat-specific population growth. Overall, I show that constraints acting on individual habitat selection result in a greater proportion of individuals breeding in poorer habitats than would be expected from ideal selection, which has consequences for population persistence.

Authors/Creators:Arlt, Debora
Title:Habitat selection
Subtitle:demography and individual decisions
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2007
Number of Pages:30
ALLArlt, D. & Pärt, T. 2007. Nonideal breeding habitat selection: a mismatch between preference and fitness. Ecology, in press. Arlt, D. & Pärt, T. The timing of habitat selection: a study of post-breeding movements and breeding territory shifts. (Manuscript). Arlt, D. & Pärt, T. Sex-biased dispersal: males constrain female site selection. (Manuscript). Arlt, D., Forslund, P., Jeppsson, T. & Pärt, T. Habitat-specific population growth of a farmland bird. (Manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7316-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:passeriformes, farmland, habitats, quality, animal migration, behaviour, population dynamics, population distribution
Keywords:dispersal, ecological trap, farmland birds, habitat quality, Oenanthe oenanthe, population dynamics, post-breeding movements, preference, settlement, site fidelity
Permanent URL:
ID Code:1362
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: Debora Arlt
Deposited On:13 Mar 2007 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:11

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