Openly accessible

Does coloniality improve foraging efficiency and nestling provisioning? A field experiment in the wild Zebra Finch

Mariette, Mylene M. and Griffith, Simon C. 2013, Does coloniality improve foraging efficiency and nestling provisioning? A field experiment in the wild Zebra Finch, Ecology, vol. 94, no. 2, pp. 325-335, doi: 10.1890/12-0572.1.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
mariette-doescoloniality-2013.pdf Published version application/pdf 548.66KB 113

Title Does coloniality improve foraging efficiency and nestling provisioning? A field experiment in the wild Zebra Finch
Author(s) Mariette, Mylene M.ORCID iD for Mariette, Mylene M. orcid.org/0000-0003-0567-4111
Griffith, Simon C.
Journal name Ecology
Volume number 94
Issue number 2
Start page 325
End page 335
Total pages 11
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Place of publication Ithaca, N.Y.
Publication date 2013-02
ISSN 0012-9658
1939-9170
Keyword(s) Colony
Crop seed count
Density-dependent cost
Food finding
Foraging rate
Nesting density
Parental care
Phenotype
Producer-scrounger
Provisioning
Reproductive investment
Taeniopygia guttata
Summary The foraging benefits of coloniality, whereby colony members exchange information about food location, have been suggested as a primary factor influencing the evolution of coloniality. However, despite its longstanding popularity, this hypothesis has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, we conducted a field experiment in the wild Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata to test whether colonial birds are better at finding food than solitary individuals. We manipulated food patch location and directly measured foraging activity of many colonial and solitary parents at those patches using an electronic monitoring system. We provided nesting sites in excess to alleviate nest site competition and manipulated brood size to eliminate the possible correlation between brood size, nesting density, and individual quality (including foraging activity). We found that solitary birds found experimental food patches first, closely followed by colonial birds. Moreover, solitary parents adjusted the amount of food per nestling to experimental brood size, whereas colonial parents did not, although overall, nestlings were fed more per capita in colonial than in solitary nests. In addition, brood size and, to a lesser extent, nesting density negatively affected nestling growth. Therefore, with the effect of provisioning rate, sibling competition, and cost of coloniality combined, nestling mass was not affected by the brood manipulation in solitary nests, whereas nestlings were lighter in enlarged than in reduced broods in colonies. Our results therefore suggest that individuals settling in solitary nests were intrinsically better foragers and more optimal parents. While they do not invalidate the possibility of information transfer at colonies, our findings highlight the importance of considering settlement bias in future studies and add to the existing evidence that the effects of nesting density on fitness are both complex and multiple.
Language eng
DOI 10.1890/12-0572.1
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Ecological Society of America
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061677

Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 128 Abstract Views, 113 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Tue, 18 Mar 2014, 08:39:05 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.