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Breeding Dispersal in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): Possible Causes and Reproductive Consequences

Tomas Part and Lars Gustafsson
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 305-320
DOI: 10.2307/5002
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/5002
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Breeding Dispersal in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): Possible Causes and Reproductive Consequences
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Abstract

(1) Correlates of breeding dispersal (between years) in the collared flycatcher were analysed using data from a population on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic. (2) Females on average moved further than males. Only 8% of the males and 2% of the females reoccupied their previous nest box. Individual size or body condition were not related to breeding dispersal. (3) Among females both total failures and reduced number of fledged young were associated with long subsequent movements in yearlings, whereas dispersal of older individuals was not related to previous breeding success. The pattern of breeding dispersal was similar in males but the difference was not significant. (4) Males that remained unpaired throughout the breeding season moved further in the next year than did mated males. There were no differences in breeding dispersal patterns between polygynous and monogamous males, nor between monogamous and secondary females. (5) Occupation of previous nest boxes by breeding tits were significantly correlated with dispersal distances in 2-year-old males, but not in older males. Female breeding dispersal was not related to this factor. (6) Males breeding for the first time in their natal area subsequently moved shorter distances than males breeding in another area. Females showed no significant differences in dispersal with respect to their birth place. (7) Breeding dispersal distance was not correlated with age when breeding success, occupation of previous nest boxes by breeding tits and distance from natal area were controlled for. (8) The reproductive correlates of movements were different for different categories of individuals. There was a negative correlation between distance moved and subsequent fitness (measured as survival and number of recruits produced) among previously successful females, whereas the trend was the opposite among previously unsuccessful females. These relationships were most prominent among young females. There were no significant correlations of dispersal and subsequent reproductive performance in males. (9) The hypothesis is advanced that breeding dispersal distances (to some extent) reflect individual choices among available territories, in that individuals with little and/or bad local experience disperse more because they benefit from exploring more sites before settling than do those with extensive and/or good local experience.

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