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Título

Habitat fragmentation influences nestling growth in Mediterranean blue and great tits

Autor Bueno-Enciso, Javier; Ferrer, Esperanza S.; Barrientos, Rafael; Serrano-Davies, Eva; Sanz, Juan José
Fecha de publicación 2016
Citación Acta Oecologica 70: 129-137 (2016)
ResumenIn patchy forest areas, the size of the forest patch where birds breed has a strong influence on their breeding success. However, the proximate effects contributing to lowering the breeding success in small forest patches remain unclear; and a shortage of crucial resources in those forest patches has been suggested to account in some degree for this failure. With the aim to further investigate this issue, we have monitored the breeding cycle of blue and great tits in three ‘large’ forest patches (ranging between 26.5-29.6 ha) and twelve ‘small’ forest patches (ranging between 1.1-2.1 ha) in a Mediterranean area in central Spain, during three years (2011-2013). We also recorded the nestling diet inside the nest-boxes with the aid of handy-cams. Only males significantly differed between forest patch size categories; being on average younger and with better body condition in small patches for great and blue tits respectively. Reproductive traits did not vary between forest patch size categories, but the body condition of blue tit nestlings and the size of great tit nestlings did, being significantly better and larger respectively in large forest patches. The recruitment rate of blue tit nestlings was also higher in large patches. Regarding nestling diet, blue tits did not differ but great tits did, delivering a larger amount of caterpillars in large forest patches. Most variation in the reproductive traits occurred between years, probably due to annual differences in environmental conditions. This study suggests that food supply could be limiting the breeding success of birds above all in small patches, but also in large patches under particular environmental conditions.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2015.12.008
URI https://digital.csic.es/handle/10261/130010
ISSN1146-609X
E-ISSN1873-6238
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