Title
Family movements before independence influence natal dispersal in a territorial songbird Family movements before independence influence natal dispersal in a territorial songbird
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Berlin ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Oecologia. - Berlin
Volume/pages
(2010)
ISSN
0029-8549
ISI
000274518000006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Dispersal behaviour in territorial species is typically assumed to be independent of parental behaviour except for the possible role of parental eviction from the natal territory. Great tits defend exclusive territories at the onset of breeding but after fledging undertake substantial excursions with dependent offspring, sometimes covering distances equivalent to ten or more breeding territories and even moving across open spaces into neighbouring woodlots. We show that postfledging family movements are significantly associated with subsequent dispersal directions of recruits by comparing observed angles of movement with a simulated distribution taking into account the patchy nature of the landscape. However, the extent of family movements did not predict dispersal distances. Our findings provide an explanation for previously observed similarities in dispersal direction between siblings in the same study population, as well as for effects of nest site location on dispersal. More generally we show the existence of a novel mechanism for parents to influence dispersal and fine-scale kinship structure among their offspring.
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