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Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s00442-020-04765-y
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Title (Primary) Flexible habitat use in a migratory songbird expanding across a human-modified landscape: is it adaptive?
Author Gailly, R.; Cousseau, L.; Paquet, J.-Y.; Titeux, N.; DufrĂȘne, M.
Journal Oecologia
Year 2020
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 194
Page From 75
Page To 86
Language englisch
Keywords Farmland birds; Non-food crop; Ecological traps; Habitat selection; Behavioural plasticity; Reproductive success; Survival; Christmas tree plantation; Forest harvesting; Saxicola torquatus
Abstract Behavioural plasticity during habitat selection plays a key role in determining whether organisms may thrive under human-induced rapid environmental changes. As organisms rely on environmental cues to make decisions, these behavioural responses may be maladaptive. We studied the European stonechat Saxicola torquatus as a model open-habitat bird species breeding in three structurally different land-use types generated by agriculture and forestry activities. In this mosaic landscape, we compared the relative attractiveness and the breeding habitat quality of intensive grassland, Christmas tree plantations and clear-cut patches in plantation forests to test whether habitat selection was adaptive. We examined the settlement pattern of territorial males to evaluate habitat preference. We recorded key parameters reflecting reproductive performances, adult and first-year survival to estimate the individual fitness of the birds and assess the quality of the different land-use types for breeding. Stonechats preferentially settled in clear-cut patches, but their fitness was not found to be markedly different in comparison with the other occupied habitats. Although they produced slightly lower-quality offspring in clear-cut patches, we did not find a negative consequence on first-year survival probabilities or any among-habitat differences in adult survival. With our analysis integrating multiple components of individual fitness, we show that all occupied land-use types are similarly rewarding for the breeding stonechats. Our study shows that some species can benefit from novel land-use types emerging in the landscape as a result of human activities. Flexible habitat selection in the stonechat has most probably contributed to its recent population increase in Western Europe.
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Gailly, R., Cousseau, L., Paquet, J.-Y., Titeux, N., DufrĂȘne, M. (2020):
Flexible habitat use in a migratory songbird expanding across a human-modified landscape: is it adaptive?
Oecologia 194 , 75 - 86