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Título

Truncated power laws reveal a link between low-level behavioral processes and grouping patterns in a colonial bird

AutorJovani, Roger ; Serrano, David ; Ursúa, Esperanza ; Tella, José Luis
Palabras claveWild bird populations
Group size frequency distributions
Power law
Population dynamics
Individual behavior
Colonial birds
Lesser kestrels
Grouping patterns
Fecha de publicación23-abr-2008
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 3(4): e1992 (2008)
Resumen[Background] Departures from power law group size frequency distributions have been proposed as a useful tool to link individual behavior with population patterns and dynamics, although examples are scarce for wild animal populations.
[Methodology/Principal Findings] We studied a population of Lesser kestrels (Falco naumanni) breeding in groups (colonies) from one to ca. 40 breeding pairs in 10,000 km2 in NE Spain. A 3.5 fold steady population increase occurred during the eight-year study period, accompanied by a geographical expansion from an initial subpopulation which in turn remained stable in numbers. This population instability was mainly driven by first-breeders, which are less competitive at breeding sites, being relegated to breed solitarily or in small colony sizes, and disperse farther than adults. Colony size frequency distributions shifted from an initial power law to a truncated power law mirroring population increase. Thus, we hypothesized that population instability was behind the truncation of the power law. Accordingly, we found a power law distribution through years in the initial subpopulation, and a match between the power law breakpoint (at ca. ten pairs) and those colony sizes from which the despotic behavior of colony owners started to impair the settlement of newcomers. Moreover, the instability hypothesis was further supported by snapshot data from another population of Lesser kestrels in SW Spain suffering a population decline.
[Conclusions/Significance] Appropriate analysis of the scaling properties of grouping patterns has unraveled the link between local agonistic processes and large-scale (population) grouping patterns in a wild bird population.
Descripción7 pages, 5 figures.-- PMID: 18431479 [PubMed].-- PMCID: PMC2292258.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001992
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/11902
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0001992
ISSN1932-6203
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