Empirical tests of habitat selection theory reveal that conspecific density and patch quality, but not habitat amount, drive long-distance immigration in a wild bird

Clark Rushing, Brandt Ryder, Jonathon J. Valente, Scott Sillett & Peter Marra
Individuals that disperse long distances from their natal site must select breeding patches with no prior knowledge of patch suitability. Despite decades of theoretical studies examining which cues dispersing individuals should use to select breeding patches, few empirical studies have tested the predictions of these theories at spatial scales relevant to long-distance dispersal in wild animal populations. Here, we use a novel assignment model based on multiple intrinsic markers to quantify natal dispersal distances of...
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