Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 554153
Title Experimentally induced antipredator responses are mediated by social and environmental factors
Author(s) Groenewoud, Frank; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Bebbington, Kat; Richardson, David S.; Komdeur, Jan
Source Behavioral Ecology 30 (2019)4. - ISSN 1045-2249 - p. 986 - 992.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz039
Department(s) Behavioral Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Antipredator defense - Nest defense - Nest predation - Parental investment - Seychelles warbler - Trade-off
Abstract

Nest predation is a common cause of reproductive failure for many bird species, and various antipredator defense behaviors have evolved to reduce the risk of nest predation. However, trade-offs between current reproductive duties and future reproduction often limit the parent’s ability to respond to nest predation risk. Individual responses to experimentally increased nest predation risk can give insights into these trade-offs. Here, we investigate whether social and ecological factors affect individual responses to predation risk by experimentally manipulating the risk of nest predation using taxidermic mounts in the cooperative breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis). Our results show that dominant females, but not males, alarm called more often when they confront a nest predator model alone than when they do so with a partner, and that individuals that confront a predator together attacked more than those that did so alone. Dominant males increased their antipredator defense by spending more time nest guarding after a presentation with a nest predator, compared with a nonpredator control, but no such effect was found for females, who did not increase the time spent incubating. In contrast to incubation by females, nest guarding responses by dominant males depended on the presence of other group members and food availability. These results suggest that while female investment in incubation is always high and not dependent on social and ecological conditions, males have a lower initial investment, which allows them to respond to sudden changes in nest predation risk.

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