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Reduced resource defence in an uncertain world: an experimental test using captive nutmeg mannikins.

Dubois, Frédérique; Giraldeau, Luc-Alain (2004). Reduced resource defence in an uncertain world: an experimental test using captive nutmeg mannikins. Animal Behaviour , vol. 68 , nº 1. p. 21-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.06.025.

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Résumé

Recent models of economic defence in a group-foraging context predict that the frequency of aggressive interactions should decline as resource density increases, but empirical studies have provided only equivocal support for this prediction. We suggest that whether or not foragers have information concerning the location of patches will influence both the intensity of aggressive encounters and the effect that changes in food density will have on aggression. The intensity of aggression should be greatest when patch locations are known to all, making resources spatially predictable and the availability of alternatives more certain. When food is hidden, increasing the density of patches should have little effect on aggression levels, mostly as a result of the greater uncertainty about the availability of replacement food patches. To test these predictions, we investigated the effect of patch density on the use of aggressive behaviour in nutmeg mannikins, Lonchura punctulata, when food patches were either visible (signalled patch location) or hidden (unsignalled patch location) to all foragers. As predicted, we found that the intensity of aggressive encounters was higher when patch location was signalled than when it was not. Moreover, the effect of patch density on aggression depended on whether patch location was signalled or not. When patch location was unknown, the number of aggressive encounters was unaffected by changes in patch density, but when food location was signalled, increasing patch density resulted in the expected decline in the frequency of aggression.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: aggression; group behavior; passerine; patchiness; resource availability
Centre: Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Date de dépôt: 02 mai 2018 18:01
Dernière modification: 02 mai 2018 18:01
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/6997

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