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Landscape homogenization due to agricultural intensification disrupts the relationship between reproductive success and main prey abundance in an avian predator

Sumasgutner, Petra LU ; Terraube, Julien ; Coulon, Aurélie ; Villers, Alexandre ; Chakarov, Nayden LU ; Kruckenhauser, Luise and Korpimäki, Erkki (2019) In Frontiers in Zoology 16(1).
Abstract

Background: Selecting high-quality habitat and the optimal time to reproduce can increase individual fitness and is a strong evolutionary factor shaping animal populations. However, few studies have investigated the interplay between land cover heterogeneity, limitation in food resources, individual quality and spatial variation in fitness parameters. Here, we explore how individuals of different quality respond to possible mismatches between a cue for prey availability (land cover heterogeneity) and the actual fluctuating prey abundance. Results: We analyse timing of breeding and reproductive success in a migratory population of Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) breeding in nest-boxes, over a full three-year abundance cycle of main... (More)

Background: Selecting high-quality habitat and the optimal time to reproduce can increase individual fitness and is a strong evolutionary factor shaping animal populations. However, few studies have investigated the interplay between land cover heterogeneity, limitation in food resources, individual quality and spatial variation in fitness parameters. Here, we explore how individuals of different quality respond to possible mismatches between a cue for prey availability (land cover heterogeneity) and the actual fluctuating prey abundance. Results: We analyse timing of breeding and reproductive success in a migratory population of Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) breeding in nest-boxes, over a full three-year abundance cycle of main prey (voles), and consider several components of individual quality, including body condition, blood parasite infection, and genetic diversity (n = 448 adults) that act on different time scales. Older individuals, and kestrel parents in higher body condition started egg-laying earlier than younger birds and those in lower body condition. Additionally, egg-laying was initiated earlier during the increase and decrease phases (2011 and 2012) than during the low phase of the vole cycle (2013). Nestling survival (ratio of eggs that fledged successfully) was higher in early nests and in heterogeneous landscapes (i.e., mosaic of different habitat types), which was evident during the increase and decrease phases of the vole cycle, but not during the low vole year. Conclusions: We found a strong positive effect of landscape heterogeneity on nestling survival, but only when voles were relatively abundant, whereas a difference in the timing of breeding related to territory landscape heterogeneity was not evident. Therefore, landscape heterogeneity appeared as the main driver of high reproductive performance under favourable food conditions. Our results show that landscape homogenization linked to agricultural intensification disrupts the expected positive effect of vole abundance on reproductive success of kestrels.

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author
; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agro-ecosystems, Biodiversity conservation, Boreal landscapes, Eurasian kestrel, Global change, Heterozygosity-fitness correlations, Individual quality, Predator-prey interactions
in
Frontiers in Zoology
volume
16
issue
1
article number
31
publisher
BioMed Central (BMC)
external identifiers
  • pmid:31406493
  • scopus:85070446585
ISSN
1742-9994
DOI
10.1186/s12983-019-0331-z
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
01708326-1a54-4e2d-90e1-c10b1ee9b083
date added to LUP
2019-08-30 14:07:22
date last changed
2021-04-13 03:19:52
@article{01708326-1a54-4e2d-90e1-c10b1ee9b083,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Selecting high-quality habitat and the optimal time to reproduce can increase individual fitness and is a strong evolutionary factor shaping animal populations. However, few studies have investigated the interplay between land cover heterogeneity, limitation in food resources, individual quality and spatial variation in fitness parameters. Here, we explore how individuals of different quality respond to possible mismatches between a cue for prey availability (land cover heterogeneity) and the actual fluctuating prey abundance. Results: We analyse timing of breeding and reproductive success in a migratory population of Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) breeding in nest-boxes, over a full three-year abundance cycle of main prey (voles), and consider several components of individual quality, including body condition, blood parasite infection, and genetic diversity (n = 448 adults) that act on different time scales. Older individuals, and kestrel parents in higher body condition started egg-laying earlier than younger birds and those in lower body condition. Additionally, egg-laying was initiated earlier during the increase and decrease phases (2011 and 2012) than during the low phase of the vole cycle (2013). Nestling survival (ratio of eggs that fledged successfully) was higher in early nests and in heterogeneous landscapes (i.e., mosaic of different habitat types), which was evident during the increase and decrease phases of the vole cycle, but not during the low vole year. Conclusions: We found a strong positive effect of landscape heterogeneity on nestling survival, but only when voles were relatively abundant, whereas a difference in the timing of breeding related to territory landscape heterogeneity was not evident. Therefore, landscape heterogeneity appeared as the main driver of high reproductive performance under favourable food conditions. Our results show that landscape homogenization linked to agricultural intensification disrupts the expected positive effect of vole abundance on reproductive success of kestrels.</p>},
  author       = {Sumasgutner, Petra and Terraube, Julien and Coulon, Aurélie and Villers, Alexandre and Chakarov, Nayden and Kruckenhauser, Luise and Korpimäki, Erkki},
  issn         = {1742-9994},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central (BMC)},
  series       = {Frontiers in Zoology},
  title        = {Landscape homogenization due to agricultural intensification disrupts the relationship between reproductive success and main prey abundance in an avian predator},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12983-019-0331-z},
  doi          = {10.1186/s12983-019-0331-z},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2019},
}