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Food limitation during breeding in a heterogeneous landscape

Granbom, Martin LU and Smith, Henrik LU (2006) In The Auk 123(1). p.97-107
Abstract
Breeding success in birds may be determined by the availability of food that parents can provide to growing nestlings. A standard method for testing the occurrence of food limitation is to provide supplemental food during different parts of the breeding period. If there is spatial variation in the strength of food limitation, the effect of such an experiment should also vary spatially. We investigated whether the strength of food limitation during nestling rearing in the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) was related to the management intensity of agricultural landscapes. We fed birds mealworms during the nestling period in landscapes with high or low local availability of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat. Both habitat and food... (More)
Breeding success in birds may be determined by the availability of food that parents can provide to growing nestlings. A standard method for testing the occurrence of food limitation is to provide supplemental food during different parts of the breeding period. If there is spatial variation in the strength of food limitation, the effect of such an experiment should also vary spatially. We investigated whether the strength of food limitation during nestling rearing in the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) was related to the management intensity of agricultural landscapes. We fed birds mealworms during the nestling period in landscapes with high or low local availability of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat. Both habitat and food supplementation affected growth and survival of nestlings; the effects of the food-supplementation experiment were generally stronger than those of habitat. Mortality mainly struck the last-hatched chick. Both habitat and food supplementation positively affected nestling growth, measured as nestling tarsus length. In addition, food supplementation positively affected feather growth and asymptotic mass. Contrary to expectation, no interactions existed between effects of habitat and food supplementation, which suggests that breeding success was limited by food availability in both landscapes. Potential reasons for this lack of effect are parental compensation and low statistical power. Also, breeding densities were higher in landscapes with more pastures, possibly equalizing the per-capita availability of food. Thus, our results demonstrate that reproductive success was limited by availability of food when local availability of preferred foraging habitat was either low or high, but fail to demonstrate spatial variation in the strength of food limitation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
The Auk
volume
123
issue
1
pages
97 - 107
publisher
BioOne
external identifiers
  • wos:000235293300009
  • scopus:32344436893
ISSN
0004-8038
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
08b125a0-089c-4e42-9b61-03534cfe9a20 (old id 155465)
alternative location
http://www.bioone.org/archive/0004-8038/123/1/pdf/i0004-8038-123-1-97.pdf
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 07:17:03
date last changed
2019-03-05 02:52:06
@article{08b125a0-089c-4e42-9b61-03534cfe9a20,
  abstract     = {Breeding success in birds may be determined by the availability of food that parents can provide to growing nestlings. A standard method for testing the occurrence of food limitation is to provide supplemental food during different parts of the breeding period. If there is spatial variation in the strength of food limitation, the effect of such an experiment should also vary spatially. We investigated whether the strength of food limitation during nestling rearing in the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) was related to the management intensity of agricultural landscapes. We fed birds mealworms during the nestling period in landscapes with high or low local availability of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat. Both habitat and food supplementation affected growth and survival of nestlings; the effects of the food-supplementation experiment were generally stronger than those of habitat. Mortality mainly struck the last-hatched chick. Both habitat and food supplementation positively affected nestling growth, measured as nestling tarsus length. In addition, food supplementation positively affected feather growth and asymptotic mass. Contrary to expectation, no interactions existed between effects of habitat and food supplementation, which suggests that breeding success was limited by food availability in both landscapes. Potential reasons for this lack of effect are parental compensation and low statistical power. Also, breeding densities were higher in landscapes with more pastures, possibly equalizing the per-capita availability of food. Thus, our results demonstrate that reproductive success was limited by availability of food when local availability of preferred foraging habitat was either low or high, but fail to demonstrate spatial variation in the strength of food limitation.},
  author       = {Granbom, Martin and Smith, Henrik},
  issn         = {0004-8038},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {97--107},
  publisher    = {BioOne},
  series       = {The Auk},
  title        = {Food limitation during breeding in a heterogeneous landscape},
  volume       = {123},
  year         = {2006},
}