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Experimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder

Brouwer, Lyanne; Cockburn, Andrew

Description

The paradox of cooperative breeding, whereby individuals assist others instead of reproducing independently, is generally explained through ecological constraints, but experimental evidence is scant. Here we performed the crucial test of the role of habitat saturation through the experimental creation of vacancies and found that, despite abundant presence of potential mates, subordinates are reluctant to disperse into suitable vacant habitat where conspecifics are absent. We argue that sudden...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBrouwer, Lyanne
dc.contributor.authorCockburn, Andrew
dc.date.accessioned2020-07-15T04:37:11Z
dc.identifier.issn1744-9561
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/206205
dc.description.abstractThe paradox of cooperative breeding, whereby individuals assist others instead of reproducing independently, is generally explained through ecological constraints, but experimental evidence is scant. Here we performed the crucial test of the role of habitat saturation through the experimental creation of vacancies and found that, despite abundant presence of potential mates, subordinates are reluctant to disperse into suitable vacant habitat where conspecifics are absent. We argue that sudden disappearance of multiple group members might indicate a heightened risk of predation. Thereby the results of this study are consistent with the 'perceptual trap' hypothesis: the avoidance of habitats because cues do not accurately reflect their quality. Interestingly, this hypothesis can also explain previous findings, which were widely interpreted as evidence for ecological constraints as a driver of cooperative breeding. Our results can have considerable implications for conservation as they mean that opportunities for colonization might go unexploited.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe work was supported by fellowships and grants from the Australian Research Council awarded to L.B. (DE130100174) and A.C. (DP0451018, DP1092565).
dc.format.extent5 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherRoyal Society of London
dc.rights© 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. Brouwer L, Cockburn A. 2020 Experimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder. Biol. Lett. 16: 20190757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0757
dc.sourceBiology Letters
dc.subjectbehaviour, ecology, ecological constraints, ecological trap, perceptual trap, Malurus
dc.titleExperimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume16
dcterms.dateAccepted2020-02-13
dc.date.issued2020-03-11
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9511635xPUB2028
local.publisher.urlhttp://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationBrouwer, Lyanne, College of Science, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationCockburn, Andrew, College of Science, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DE130100174
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP0451018
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP1092565
local.identifier.essn1744-957X
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage5
local.identifier.doi10.1098/rsbl.2019.0757
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2020-03-23T21:46:03Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancehttp://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/11597 Accepted Version can be archived in institutional repository (Sherpa/Romeo as of 20/7/2020)
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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