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Differences in incubation behaviour and niche separation of two competing flycatcher species

Koski, Tuuli-Marjaana and Sirkia, Paivi M. and McFarlane, S. Eryn and Alund, Murielle and Qvarnstrom, Anna (2020). Differences in incubation behaviour and niche separation of two competing flycatcher species. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74 , 105 , 1-10
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Food availability sets the stage for incubation behaviour of a female bird and thereby indirectly determines the nest temperature, which in turn affects development and metabolism of avian embryos. Changes in development and metabolism in turn are known to influence offspring's ability to adjust to environmental changes later in life. However, few studies have investigated the role of interspecific differences in incubation behaviour in relation to niche separation between competing sibling species. We studied the effects of habitat quality (in terms of caterpillar availability) on incubation behaviour of two ecologically similar and closely related species, collared and pied flycatchers (Ficedula albicollisandF. hypoleuca), in their hybrid zone on the island of oland, Sweden. Even though both species prefer caterpillar-rich deciduous forests as nesting sites, collared flycatchers, whose nestlings have higher energetic demands, are able to nest only in deciduous forests, whereas pied flycatchers have more flexible habitat requirements. Overall, higher food availability was associated with increased nest attendance, higher incubation temperature and a lower number of foraging trips across species. In addition, collared flycatchers had more frequent and shorter foraging trips across habitat types, allocated more heat to eggs and therefore maintained higher nest temperatures compared to pied flycatchers. We argue that the higher heat allocation or the need to maintain a higher nest temperature for embryo development may constrain collared flycatchers to focus on relatively more profitable prey. Our results highlight the importance of considering incubation behaviour in the context of understanding species differences in niche use. Significance statement Niche separation plays an important role in mitigating effects of competition between closely related species. Whether species differences in incubation behaviour relate to differences in niche use remains unknown. We compared incubation behaviour of two sympatric flycatcher species that differ in sensitivity to food availability. The competitively more dominant and larger species, the collared flycatcher, whose nestlings are more sensitive to food shortages, made more frequent foraging trips but allocated more heat to eggs, leading to higher nest temperature despite lower nest attendance, compared to pied flycatchers. These interspecific differences may be a result of differences in embryo sensitivity or female physiology and contribute to the niche separation between the species, which in turn can facilitate coexistence.

Authors/Creators:Koski, Tuuli-Marjaana and Sirkia, Paivi M. and McFarlane, S. Eryn and Alund, Murielle and Qvarnstrom, Anna
Title:Differences in incubation behaviour and niche separation of two competing flycatcher species
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:74
Article number:105
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:SPRINGER
ISSN:0340-5443
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Incubation behaviour, Flycatcher, Niche separation, Food availability, Interspecific competition
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107166
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107166
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s00265-020-02883-4
Web of Science (WoS)000554681200001
ID Code:17440
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Plant Protection Biology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 Sep 2020 08:55
Metadata Last Modified:14 Sep 2020 08:55

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