Competitive abilities of oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) occupying territories of different quality

Bruinzeel, Leo W., van de Pol, Martijn, and Trierweiler, Christiane (2006) Competitive abilities of oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) occupying territories of different quality. Journal of Ornithology, 147. pp. 457-463.

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In territorial species, habitat heterogeneity results in some individuals occupying poor quality sites while others occupy high quality sites. Floaters (mature nonbreeders) may accept a low quality territory, because it is the best they can get and defend (‘inferior phenotype hypothesis’), or because it is a strategic alternative for a high quality territory in the long run (‘queue hypothesis’). Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus territories differ consistently in the amount of offspring produced each year and this is related to the distance between the nesting and feeding territories. The inferior phenotype hypothesis was previously rejected on the basis of the absence of morphometric differences (assumed to indicate competitive abilities) among breeders. We investigated social dominance, in the field and in captivity, in relation to the quality of the breeding territory. In the field, birds with high-quality territories won more often compared to those occupying low-quality territories. However, this difference was not apparent in a small dataset of captive birds. These results are discussed in the framework of the long-term fitness prospects of settling in a high or low quality territory.

Item ID: 80103
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2193-7206
Copyright Information: © Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschafte. V. 2005
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 01:39
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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