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Journal Article

Two Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Populations from Corsica Differ in Social Dominance

Céline Braillet, Anne Charmantier, Frédéric Archaux, Anabelle Dos Santos, Philippe Perret and Marcel M. Lambrechts
Journal of Avian Biology
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 446-450
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3677581
Page Count: 5
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Two Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Populations from Corsica Differ in Social Dominance
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Abstract

Although the causes and consequences of social dominance have been examined extensively, avian studies have rarely focused on between-population differences in social dominance. On the island of Corsica, two resident blue tit Parus caeruleus populations 25 km apart differ significantly in body size measures, timing and effort of reproduction, and song structure, and some of these population differences have a genetic basis. Because earlier avian studies have shown that social dominance is influenced by body size or mass, we predicted that individuals from these two blue tit populations would also differ in their ability to dominate other individuals. Consistent with this prediction, we found that male blue tits of these two populations differ in social dominance, and that heavier or larger individuals dominate lighter or smaller ones in aviary experiments. We propose that social dominance may serve to maintain phenotypic population differentiation at a micro-geographic scale by acting as a barrier to dispersal.

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