Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test

American Naturalist
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The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test
Series title American Naturalist
DOI 10.1086/508297
Volume 168
Issue 6
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Naturalist
First page 811
Last page 818
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