Is the risk of nest predation heterospecifically density-dependent in precocial species belonging to different nesting guilds?

Johan Elmberg, Hannu Pöysä

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    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Nest predation is a key source of mortality and variation in fitness, but the effect co-occurring species belonging to different nesting guilds have on each other’s nest success is poorly understood. By using artificial nests, we tested if predation on cavity nests of Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula (L., 1758)) is increased in the presence of ground nests of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos L., 1758) and vice versa. Specifically, by adding ground nests in the vicinity of cavity nests, we tested the hypothesis that predation on cavity nests is heterospecifically density-dependent. A shared predator, the pine marten (Martes martes (L., 1758)), was intensively hunted in one of the study areas, but not in the other, leading to most individuals in the former being naïve immigrants. Cavity-nest fate was not affected by addition of ground nests. Similarly, ground-nest survival did not decrease when nearby cavity nests were depredated. Fate of nests in a given nest cavity was highly predictable between years in the study area with minimal removal of pine martens, but not in the one with intensive removal. Predation rate was higher on cavity nests than on ground nests. Predation on ground nests was lower in the study area with intensive removal of pine martens. We conclude there was neither apparent competition between guilds nor heterospecific density-dependence in predation risk.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1164-1171
    Number of pages7
    JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
    Volume89
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Biological Sciences (106)

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