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

Date

2006

Authors

Bruinzeel, Leo W.
van de Pol, Martijn
Trierweiler, Christiane

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer

Abstract

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.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: habitat quality; life history; morphometry; phenotype; wader; Aves; Haematopodidae; Haematopus ostralegus Habitat quality; Life history; Phenotypic quality; Settlement

Citation

Source

Journal of Ornithology

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1007/s10336-005-0037-1

Restricted until

2037-12-31