The influence of cover on nesting Red-capped Plovers: a trade-off between thermoregulation and predation risk?

Lomas, Stephanie, Whisson, Desley, Maguire, Grainne, Tan, Laura, Guay, Patrick-Jean and Weston,MA 2014, The influence of cover on nesting Red-capped Plovers: a trade-off between thermoregulation and predation risk?, The Victorian naturalist, vol. 131, no. 4, pp. 115-127.

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Title The influence of cover on nesting Red-capped Plovers: a trade-off between thermoregulation and predation risk?
Author(s) Lomas, Stephanie
Whisson, DesleyORCID iD for Whisson, Desley orcid.org/0000-0002-4221-0706
Maguire, Grainne
Tan, Laura
Guay, Patrick-Jean
Weston,MAORCID iD for Weston,MA orcid.org/0000-0002-8717-0410
Journal name The Victorian naturalist
Volume number 131
Issue number 4
Start page 115
End page 127
Publisher Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
Place of publication Blackburn, Vic
Publication date 2014-10-01
ISSN 0042-5184
Summary  Some ground-nesting birds adopt a mixed strategy of nesting in the open, or under cover (e.g. vegetation). This may represent a trade-off between thermally favourable nest sites (covered) and those that enable the early detection and avoidance of predators (open). This study examined whether such a trade-off exists for Redcapped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus, whose eggs are preyed upon principally by Little Raven Corvus mellori. For real and artificial nests, nest temperatures under cover (real, 25.9 ± 0.1°C; false, 16.2 ± 0.5°C) were cooler than those in the open (real, 26.8 ± 0.1°C; false, 17.4 ± 0.9°C). Covered nests had more visual obstructions than open nests (covered, 65.5% ± 11.4%; open, 7.4% ± 2.8%) and a standardised measure of incubator escape distance, initiated by experimental human approaches, indicated incubators fled open nests at longer distances than for covered nests. Nests under cover showed a slightly (non-significant) higher probability of surviving one day (Daily Survival Rate [DSR] = 0.978) than those in the open (DSR = 0.950). For false nests containing model eggs, covered nests exhibited better survival to 10 days compared with open nests (20.4% vs. 4.7%). Thus, covered nests are associated with enhanced thermal environments and egg survival, but predators can approach the incubator more closely. Overall, the proposed trade-off between thermal and predation risks associated with nest sites appears to exist and explains the ongoing occurrence of nests in open and covered locations.
Language eng
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960807 Fresh
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30067807

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