University of Oulu

Reetta Hämäläinen and others, Size of an interspecific competitor may be a source of information in reproductive decisions, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 34, Issue 1, January/February 2023, Pages 33–41,

Size of an interspecific competitor may be a source of information in reproductive decisions

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Author: Hämäläinen, Reetta1; Välimäki, Panu1; Forsman, Jukka T.1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland, Paavo Havaksen tie 3, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-08-10


Animals use inter-specific cues as a source of information in decisions-making, but the full costs and benefits of inter-specific information use are unknown. We tested whether pied flycatchers use the body size and clutch size of great tits as cues in their reproductive decisions and what are the possible fitness consequences as a function of great tit size. The size of great tit females associated positively with flycatcher’s probability to settle near a tit nest over a territory further away. Flycatcher egg mass was positively correlated with great tit female size regardless of flycatcher territory choice. However, in flycatchers that had chosen to nest near great tits, the size of nestlings decreased in relation to increasing great tit female size. Our results demonstrate the use of size of inter-specifics as a cue in reproductive decisions and the trade-off between the value of information and costs of competition information users face when using inter-specific information in decision-making.

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Series: Behavioral ecology
ISSN: 1045-2249
ISSN-E: 1465-7279
ISSN-L: 1045-2249
Volume: 34
Issue: 1
Pages: 33 - 41
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arac094
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This work was supported by Societas Pro Fauna et Flora Fennica and Finnish Cultural foundations’ Norther Ostrobothnia Regional Fund (grant numbers 60182024 and 60212359).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.