University of Oulu

Forsman, J.T., Seppänen, J., Mönkkönen, M., Thomson, R.L., Kivelä, S.M., Krams, I. and Loukola, O.J. (2018), Is it interspecific information use or aggression between putative competitors that steers the selection of nest‐site characteristics? A reply to Slagsvold and Wiebe. J Avian Biol, 49: jav-01558. doi:10.1111/jav.01558

Is it interspecific information use or aggression between putative competitors that steers the selection of nest‐site characteristics? : a reply to Slagsvold and Wiebe

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Author: Forsman, Jukka T.1; Seppänen, Janne-Tuomas2; Mönkkönen, Mikko3;
Organizations: 1Dept of Ecology and Genetics, Univ. of Oulu, Finland
2Open Science Centre, Univ. of Jyvaskyla, Finland
3Dept of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Jyvaskyla, Finland
4FitzPatrick Inst. of African Ornithology, DST‐NRF Centre of Excellence, Univ. of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
5Dept of Zoology, Inst. of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Univ. of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
6Dept of Zoology and Animal Ecology, Univ. of Latvia, Rīga, Latvia
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2020091169350
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-09-11
Description:

Abstract

A growing number of studies have demonstrated that heterospecific individuals with overlapping resource needs — putative competitors — can provide information to each other that improves the outcomes of decisions. Our studies using cavity nesting resident tits (information provider) and migratory flycatchers (Ficedula spp., information user) have shown that selective interspecific information use (SIIU) can result in flycatchers copying and rejecting the apparent nest‐site feature preferences of tits, depending on a perceivable fitness correlate (clutch size) of the tits. These, and other results on the interspecific information use, challenge the predictions of traditional theory of species coexistence. Recently, Slagsvold and Wiebe (2017) proposed an alternative hypothesis, the owner aggression hypothesis (OAH), to explain our results. Their main points of critique are: 1) a lack of evidence that flycatchers make visits into tit nests prior to nesting and 2) flycatchers do not have an ability to assess tit clutch size. According to Slagsvold and Wiebe, interspecific aggression between tits and flycatchers, not information use, is the mechanism explaining our results. In this reply we show that part of Slagsvold and Wiebe’s criticism is based on mischaracterization of the assumptions of SIIU, resulting in misinterpretations of our results. We also provide new evidence that flycatchers (mostly males) frequently visit tit nests prior to settlement and can acquire information about tit clutch size and thereby on the quality of the tutoring tit individual and its decisions. In short, as intriguing as OAH is, we suggest that 1) some of the assumptions are highly speculative and lack evidence, while 2) our earlier experiment (Loukola et al. 2013) has clearly demonstrated the importance of the visible clutch size of tits for flycatcher decisions. Therefore, SIIU can more parsimoniously than OAH explain the behaviour of flycatchers.

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Series: Journal of avian biology
ISSN: 0908-8857
ISSN-E: 1600-048X
ISSN-L: 0908-8857
Volume: 49
Issue: 3
Article number: jav-01558
DOI: 10.1111/jav.01558
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/jav.01558
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Funding: Funding from Marie Curie Intra‐European Fellowship (MEIF‐CT‐2003‐500554), Academy of Finland (projects 122665 and 125720) and Kone Foundation (to JTF) has made many ANNE experiments and this study possible.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 122665
125720
Detailed Information: 122665 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
125720 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Forsman, J.T., Seppänen, J., Mönkkönen, M., Thomson, R.L., Kivelä, S.M., Krams, I. and Loukola, O.J. (2018), Is it interspecific information use or aggression between putative competitors that steers the selection of nest‐site characteristics? A reply to Slagsvold and Wiebe. J Avian Biol, 49: jav-01558, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.01558. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.