High Emigration Propensity and Low Mortality on Transfer Drives Female-Biased Dispersal of Pyriglena leucoptera in Fragmented Landscapes.
ABSTRACT: Dispersal is a biological process performed in three stages: emigration, transfer and immigration. Intra-specific variation on dispersal behavior, such as sex-bias, is very common in nature, particularly in birds and mammals. However, dispersal is difficult to measure in the field and many hypotheses concerning the causes of sex-biased dispersal remain without empirical confirmation. An important limitation of most empirical studies is that inferences about sex-biased dispersal are based only on emigration proneness or immigration success data. Thus, we still do not know whether sex-biased immigration in fragmented landscapes occurs during emigration, transfer or in both stages. We conducted translocation and radiotracking experiments to assess i) whether inter-patch dispersal movements of a rainforest bird (Pyriglena leucoptera) is sex-biased and ii) how dispersal stages and the perceptual range of the individuals are integrated to generate dispersal patterns. Our results showed that inter-patch dispersal is sex-biased at all stages for P. leucoptera, as females not only exhibit a higher emigration propensity but are subjected to a lower risk of predation when moving through the matrix. Moreover, our data support a perceptual range of 80 m and our results showed that dispersal success decreases considerably when inter-patch distances exceeds this perceptual range. In this case, birds have a higher probability of travelling over longer routes and, as a consequence, the risk of predation increases, specially for males. Overall, results supported that assuming dispersal as a single-stage process to describe dispersal behavior may be misleading. In this way, our study advanced our understanding of processes and patterns related to inter-patch dispersal of neotropical forest birds, shedding light on potential implications for population dynamics and for the management of fragmented landscapes.
Project description:Habitat fragmentation is expected to reduce dispersal movements among patches as a result of increased inter-patch distances. Furthermore, since habitat fragmentation is expected to raise the costs of moving among patches in the landscape, it should hamper the ability or tendency of organisms to perform informed dispersal decisions. Here, we used microcosms of the ciliate <i>Tetrahymena thermophila</i> to test experimentally whether habitat fragmentation, manipulated through the length of corridors connecting patches differing in temperature, affects habitat choice. We showed that a twofold increase of inter-patch distance can as expected hamper the ability of organisms to choose their habitat at immigration. Interestingly, it also increased their habitat choice at emigration, suggesting that organisms become choosier in their decision to either stay or leave their patch when obtaining information about neighbouring patches gets harder. This study points out that habitat fragmentation might affect not only dispersal rate but also the level of non-randomness of dispersal, with emigration and immigration decisions differently affected. These consequences of fragmentation might considerably modify ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations facing environmental changes.
Project description:Few studies have addressed the effects of food availability as a proximate factor affecting local adult survival in long-lived organisms and their consequences at local population dynamics. We used capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 10 birth cohorts of ringed Audouin's gulls, Larus audouinii, to estimate adult survival and dispersal (both emigration and immigration). For the first time, permanent emigration (the transient effect in capture-recapture analysis) was modelled for the whole population and not only for the newly marked birds. Gulls exploit to a large extent fishes discarded from trawlers, and a trawling moratorium established since 1991 has decreased food supply for the colony. This was used as a natural experiment of food availability to assess its effects on adult survival and emigration. These and other demographic parameters were used in a projection modelling to assess the probabilities of extinction of the colony under two scenarios of lower and higher food availability. Food availability (together with the age of individuals) influenced emigration probabilities, but not adult survival, which was estimated at 0.91 (s.e. = 0.02). When food was in shorter supply during the chick-rearing period, emigration was very high (ca. 65%) for younger breeders, although this rate decreased sharply with age. Probabilities of extinction were very high when food availability was low, and when environmental stochasticity was introduced, and only stochastic immigration from the outside seemed to prevent extinction. The results highlight the importance of dispersal processes in the population dynamics of long-lived organisms.
Project description:The hypothesis that patterns of sex-biased dispersal are related to social mating system in mammals and birds has gained widespread acceptance over the past 30 years. However, two major complications have obscured the relationship between these two behaviors: 1) dispersal frequency and dispersal distance, which measure different aspects of the dispersal process, have often been confounded, and 2) the relationship between mating system and sex-biased dispersal in these vertebrate groups has not been examined using modern phylogenetic comparative methods. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of the relationship between mating system and sex-biased dispersal in mammals and birds. Results indicate that the evolution of female-biased dispersal in mammals may be more likely on monogamous branches of the phylogeny, and that females may disperse farther than males in socially monogamous mammalian species. However, we found no support for a relationship between social mating system and sex-biased dispersal in birds when the effects of phylogeny are taken into consideration. We caution that although there are larger-scale behavioral differences in mating system and sex-biased dispersal between mammals and birds, mating system and sex-biased dispersal are far from perfectly associated within these taxa.