University of Oulu

Angela Moreras, Jere Tolvanen, Chiara Morosinotto, Elsa Bussiere, Jukka Forsman, Robert L Thomson, Choice of nest attributes as a frontline defense against brood parasitism, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 32, Issue 6, November/December 2021, Pages 1285–1295, https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arab095

Choice of nest attributes as a frontline defense against brood parasitism

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Author: Moreras, Angela1; Tolvanen, Jere2,3; Morosinotto, Chiara4,5;
Organizations: 1FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
2Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, pentti kaiteran katu 1, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Novia University of Applied Sciences, Bioeconomy Research Team, Raseborgsvägen 9, FI-10600 Ekenäs, Finland
5Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turun yliopisto, Turku, Finland
6Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve, African Parks, Fada, Chad
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe202201041153
Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-09-14
Description:

Abstract

Breeding- and nest-site choice is a behavioral strategy often used to counter negative interactions. Site choices before breeding prevent costs of predation and competition but have been neglected in the context of brood parasitism. For hosts of brood parasites, the earlier brood parasitism is prevented in the breeding cycle the lower the future costs. Suitable nest-sites for cavity-nesting common redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), a host of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), are a limited resource, but their cavity-nesting strategy could potentially deter predators and brood parasites. We altered the entrance size of breeding cavities and investigated redstart nest-site choice and its consequences to nest predation and brood parasitism risk, although accounting for potential interspecific competition for nest sites. We set-up paired nest-boxes and let redstarts choose between 7 cm and 5 cm entrance sizes. Additionally, we monitored occupancy rates in nest-boxes with 3 cm, 5 cm, and 7 cm entrance sizes and recorded brood parasitism and predation events. We found that redstarts preferred to breed in 5 cm entrance size cavities, where brood parasitism was eliminated but nest predation rates were comparable to 7 cm entrance size cavities. Only in 3 cm cavities both, brood parasitism and predation rates were reduced. In contrast to the other cavity-nesting species, redstart settlement was lowest in 3 cm entrance size cavities, potentially suggesting interspecific competition for small entrance size cavities. Nest-site choice based on entrance size could be a frontline defense strategy that redstarts use to reduce brood parasitism.

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Series: Behavioral ecology
ISSN: 1045-2249
ISSN-E: 1465-7279
ISSN-L: 1045-2249
Volume: 32
Issue: 6
Pages: 1285 - 1295
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arab095
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1093/beheco/arab095
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Funding: Funding was provided by a Department of Science and Technology-National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence of South Africa, Finnish Cultural Foundation (personal grant to CM), Academy of Finland (grants no. 12265 and 125720 to JTF, and grant no. 138049 to RLT), Kone Foundation (to JTF and JT), Kvantum Institute, Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica and Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse (to JT).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 125720
122665
138049
Detailed Information: 125720 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
122665 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
138049 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Behavioral Ecology following peer review. The version of record Angela Moreras, Jere Tolvanen, Chiara Morosinotto, Elsa Bussiere, Jukka Forsman, Robert L Thomson, Choice of nest attributes as a frontline defense against brood parasitism, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 32, Issue 6, November/December 2021, Pages 1285–1295 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arab095.