Space use, habitat selection and reproductive output of breeding common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
2Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9789514287152
|Publish Date:|| 2008-01-30
|Thesis type:||Doctoral Dissertation
|Defence Note:||Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on February 9th, 2008, at 12 noon
Doctor Eduardo J. Belda
Doctor Robert G. Clark
Habitat selection is a crucial process affecting space use and reproductive success of birds. In this thesis, I investigated spatial and behavioural aspects of nest spacing, brood stage space use, habitat selection and factors affecting reproductive success of breeding common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) using two large and long-term observational data sets from individually marked females.
In the nesting stage, I found that spatial nesting pattern of goldeneye females changed from one year to the next and also between spatial scales. However, increasing aggregation of nesting females decreased nesting success due to increasing rate of nest desertion and nest predation especially at small spatial scale. These results provide evidence of a density-dependent population process in the common goldeneye in terms of association between annual spatial dispersion of nesting females and annual nesting success.
In the brood stage, the most important factor affecting habitat selection was the amount of food. However, safe nest sites and food requirements of ducklings were not usually met in the same patch and females with broods adjusted their space-use tactics according to these critical breeding resources. Spatial divergence of these two obligatory resources induced brood movements at various distances shortly after hatching. During movements, broods used different landscape elements such as patches, corridors and matrix in a flexible way without clear fitness consequences in terms of duckling survival.
Goldeneye broods suffered heavy losses especially during the early brood stage. Increasing predation risk by northern pike (Esox lucius) decreased survival of young ducklings, but frequent total brood losses suggest that also other factors affected duckling survival. Environmental factors such as temperature or rain were not related to the survival of ducklings.
Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
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