21 Works

Data from: Collective decision-making in homing pigeons: Larger flocks take longer to decide but do not make better decisions

Carlos D. Santos, Sebastian Przybyzin, Martin Wikelski & Dina K. N. Dechmann
Social animals routinely are challenged to make consensus decisions about movement directions and routes. However, the underlying mechanisms facilitating such decision-making processes are still poorly known. A prominent question is how group members participate in group decisions. We addressed this question by examining how flocks of homing pigeons (Columba livia) decide their homing direction. We released newly formed flocks varying in size and determined the time taken to choose a homing direction (decision-making period) and...

Data from: Validating two-dimensional leadership models on three-dimensionally structured fish schools

Isobel Watts, Mate Nagy, Robert I. Holbrook, Dora Biro & Theresa Burt De Perera
Identifying leader-follower interactions is crucial for understanding how a group decides where or when to move, and how this information is transferred between members. Although many animal groups have a three-dimensional structure, previous studies investigating leader-follower interactions have often ignored vertical information. This raises the question whether commonly used two-dimensional leader-follower analyses can be used justifiably on groups that interact in three dimensions. To address this we quantified the individual movements of banded tetra fish...

Data from: The effect of colour-producing mechanisms on plumage sexual dichromatism in passerines and parrots

Kaspar Delhey & Anne Peters
Sexual dichromatism (SD) often reflects intense sexual selection on males. It has been hypothesized that sexual selection should favour the elaboration of those male colours that honestly signal quality and that such colours should therefore show higher SD. Costliness of colours is expected to vary according to their production mechanism (pigment type, feather microstructure and combinations thereof). Carotenoid-based colours, due to their dietary origin and competing functions of carotenoid pigments, are the best documented costly...

Data from: Experimental illumination of a forest: no effects of lights of different colours on the onset of the dawn chorus in songbirds

Arnaud Da Silva, Maaike De Jong, Roy H. A. Van Grunsven, Marcel E. Visser, Bart Kempenaers & Kamiel Spoelstra
Light pollution is increasing exponentially, but its impact on animal behaviour is still poorly understood. For songbirds, the most repeatable finding is that artificial night lighting leads to an earlier daily onset of dawn singing. Most of these studies are, however, correlational and cannot entirely dissociate effects of light pollution from other effects of urbanization. In addition, there are no studies in which the effects of different light colours on singing have been tested. Here,...

Data from: Association mapping of morphological traits in wild and captive zebra finches: reliable within but not between populations

Ulrich Knief, Holger Schielzeth, Niclas Backstrom, Georg Hemmrich-Stanisak, Michael Wittig, Andre Franke, Simon C. Griffith, Hans Ellegren, Bart Kempenaers & Wolfgang Forstmeier
Identifying causal genetic variants underlying heritable phenotypic variation is a longstanding goal in evolutionary genetics. We previously identified several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for five morphological traits in a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) by whole-genome linkage mapping. We here follow up on these studies with the aim to narrow down on the quantitative trait variants (QTN) in one wild and three captive populations. First, we performed an association study using 672 single...

Data from: Scaring waterfowl as a management tool: how much more do geese forage after disturbance?

Bart A. Nolet, Andrea Kölzsch, Michiel Elderenbosch & Arie J. Van Noordwijk
With increasing numbers of many herbivorous waterfowl species, often foraging on farmland, the conflict with agriculture has intensified. One popular management tool is to scare birds off the land, often in association with shooting. However, the energy costs of flying are considerably higher than those of resting. Therefore, when birds fly off after a disturbance, they use extra energy that subsequently needs to be compensated. We used the white-fronted goose Anser albifrons, the most common...

Data from: Incest avoidance, extrapair paternity, and territory quality drive divorce in a year-round territorial bird.

Nataly Hidalgo Aranzamendi, Michelle L. Hall, Sjouke A. Kingma, Paul Sunnucks & Anne Peters
Divorce can be an important behavioral strategy to improve fitness. This is particularly relevant for species that are territorial year-round with continuous partnerships, where individuals face constraints on partner choice due to limited vacancies and dispersal opportunities. We tested several hypotheses for divorce in such a species, the cooperatively breeding bird Malurus coronatus. Based on 9 years of detailed information on dispersal and survival of 317 breeding pairs, we tested whether divorce is driven by...

Data from: Genetic isolation between coastal and fishery-impacted, offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations

Simon J. Allen, Kate A. Bryant, Robert H. S. Kraus, Neil R. Loneragan, Anna M. Kopps, Alexander M. Brown, Livia Gerber & Michael Krützen
The identification of species and population boundaries is important in both evolutionary and conservation biology. In recent years, new population genetic and computational methods for estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses in a quantitative manner have emerged. Using a Bayesian framework and a quantitative model-testing approach, we evaluated the species status and genetic connectedness of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations off remote northwestern Australia, with a focus on pelagic 'offshore' dolphins subject to incidental capture...

Data from: Neuroendocrine correlates of sex-role reversal in barred buttonquails

Cornelia Voigt
Sex differences in brain structure and behaviour are well documented among vertebrates. An excellent model exploring the neural mechanisms of sex differences in behaviour is represented by sex-role-reversed species. In the majority of bird species, males compete over access to mates and resources more strongly than do females. It is thought that the responsible brain regions are therefore more developed in males than in females. Because these behaviours and brain regions are activated by androgens,...

Data from: Migratory connectivity and effects of winter temperatures on migratory behaviour of the European robin Erithacus rubecula: a continent-wide analysis

Roberto Ambrosini, José Cuervo, Chris Du Feu, Wolfgang Fiedler, Musitelli Federica, Diego Rubolini, Beatrice Sicurella, Fernando Spina, Nicola Saino, Anders Møller & Federica Musitelli
1. Many partially migratory species show phenotypically divergent populations in terms of migratory behaviour, with climate hypothesized to be a major driver of such variability through its differential effects on sedentary and migratory individuals. 2. Based on long-term (1947–2011) bird ringing data, we analysed phenotypic differentiation of migratory behaviour among populations of the European robin Erithacus rubecula across Europe. 3. We showed that clusters of populations sharing breeding and wintering ranges varied from partial (British...

Data from: Repeatability, heritability, and age-dependence in the aggressiveness reaction norms of a wild passerine bird

Yimen Gerardo Araya Ajoy, Niels J. Dingemanse & Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy
Labile characters allow individuals to flexibly adjust their phenotype to changes in environmental conditions. There is growing evidence that individuals can differ both in average expression and level of plasticity in this type of character. Both of these aspects are studied in conjunction within a reaction norm framework. Theoreticians have investigated the factors promoting variation in reaction norm intercepts (average phenotype) and slopes (level of plasticity) of a key labile character: behaviour. A general prediction...

Data from: Misinformed leaders lose influence over pigeon flocks

Isobel Watts, Máté Nagy, Theresa Burt De Perera & Dora Biro
In animal groups where certain individuals have disproportionate influence over collective decisions, the whole group's performance may suffer if these individuals possess inaccurate information. Whether in such situations leaders can be replaced in their roles by better-informed group mates represents an important question in understanding the adaptive consequences of collective decision-making. Here, we use a clock-shifting procedure to predictably manipulate the directional error in navigational information possessed by established leaders within hierarchically structured flocks of...

Data from: Anthropogenic noise, but not artificial light levels predicts song behaviour in an equatorial bird

Adriana M. Dorado-Correa, Manuel Rodriguez-Rocha & Henrik Brumm
Birds in cities start singing earlier in the morning than in rural areas; commonly this shift is attributed to light pollution. Some studies have suggested that traffic noise has a stronger influence on singing activity than artificial light does. Changes in the timing of singing behaviour in relation to noise and light pollution have only been investigated in the temperate zones. Tropical birds, however, experience little seasonal variation in day length and may be less...

Data from: A minimum-impact, flexible tool to study vocal communication of small animals with precise individual-level resolution

Lisa F. Gill, Pietro B. D'Amelio, Nicolas M. Adreani, Hannes Sagunsky, Manfred C. Gahr & Andries Ter Maat
1.To understand both proximate and ultimate factors shaping vocal communication, it is fundamental to obtain reliable information of participating individuals on different levels: Firstly, it is necessary to separate and assign the individuals’ vocalisations. Secondly, the precise timing of vocal events needs to be retained. Thirdly, vocal behaviour should be recorded from undisturbed animals in meaningful settings. A growing number of studies used animal-attached microphones to tackle these issues, but the implications for the study...

Data from: Winter territory prospecting is associated with life-history stage but not activity in a passerine

Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar, Isabel Winney, Antje Girndt, Mirre J.P. Simons, Shinichi Nakagawa, Terry Burke, Julia Schroeder & Mirre J. P. Simons
Finding a high quality territory is essential for many animals to reproduce successfully. Despite its importance for fitness, we know little about the process of territory prospecting in wild birds, and whether individual traits and behaviours, such as personality, co-vary with territory prospecting. Here, we use long-term data from a wild, insular house sparrow Passer domesticus population to test three hypotheses about territory fidelity and prospecting: (1) House sparrows show high territory fidelity between years...

Data from: Sources of (co)variation in alternative siring routes available to male great tits (Parus major)

Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy, Sylvia Kuhn, Kimberley J. Mathot, Alexia Mouchet, Ariane Mutzel, Marion Nicolaus, Jan J. Wijmenga, Bart Kempenaers & Niels J. Dingemanse
Males of socially monogamous species can increase their siring success via within-pair and extra-pair fertilizations. In this study, we focused on the different sources of (co)variation between these siring routes, and asked how each contributes to total siring success. We quantified the fertilization routes to siring success, as well as behaviors that have been hypothesized to affect siring success, over a five-year period for a wild population of great tits Parus major. We considered siring...

Data from: Multidimensional environmental predictors of variation in avian forest and city life histories

Philipp Sprau, Alexia Mouchet & Niels J. Dingemanse
Optimal life-history decisions are shaped by prevailing environmental conditions. In the context of urbanization, environmental differences between urban and rural areas are known to vary across a multitude of axes. The relative roles of specific axes and whether they explain variation in avian life histories between forest and city populations have not often been studied empirically. This study comprehensively views urbanization from a multidimensional environmental perspective. For each of 13 nest box plots of a...

Data from: Meiotic recombination shapes precision of pedigree- and marker-based estimates of inbreeding

Ulrich Knief, Bart Kempenaers & Wolfgang Forstmeier
The proportion of an individual’s genome that is identical-by-descent (GWIBD) can be estimated from pedigrees (inbreeding coefficient “Pedigree F”) or molecular markers (“Marker F”), but both estimators come with error. Assuming unrelated pedigree founders, Pedigree F is the expected proportion of GWIBD given a specific inbreeding constellation. Meiotic recombination introduces variation around that expectation (Mendelian noise) and related pedigree founders systematically bias Pedigree F downwards. Marker F is an estimate of the actual proportion of...

Data from: Sex roles, parental care and offspring growth in two contrasting coucal species

Wolfgang Goymann, Ignas Safari, Christina Muck & Ingrid Schwabl
The decision to provide parental care is often associated with trade-offs, because resources allocated to parental care typically cannot be invested in self-maintenance or mating. In most animals, females provide more parental care than males, but the reason for this pattern is still debated in evolutionary ecology. To better understand sex differences in parental care and its consequences we need to study closely related species where the sexes differ in offspring care. We investigated parental...

Data from: Growth overshoot and seasonal size changes in the skulls of two weasel species

Scott LaPoint, Lara Keicher, Martin Wikelski, Karol Zub & Dina K. N. Dechmann
Ontogenetic changes in mammalian skulls are complex. For a very few species (i.e. some Sorex shrews), these also include seasonally driven, bidirectional size changes within individuals, presumably to reduce energy requirements during low resource availabilities. These patterns are poorly understood, but are likely most pronounced in high-metabolic species with limited means for energy conservation. We used generalized additive models to quantify the effect of location, Julian day, age and sex on the length and depth...

Data from: Patterns and correlates of claims for brown bear damage on a continental scale

Carlos Bautista, Javier Naves, Eloy Revilla, Néstor Fernández, Jörg Albrecht, Anne K. Scharf, Robin Rigg, Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Klemen Jerina, Djuro Huber, Santiago Palazón, Raido Kont, Paolo Ciucci, Claudio Groff, Aleksandar Dutsov, Juan Seijas, Pierre-Ives Quenette, Agnieszka Olszańska, Maryna Shkvyria, Michal Adamec, Janis Ozolins, Marko Jonozovič & Nuria Selva
Wildlife damage to human property threatens human–wildlife coexistence. Conflicts arising from wildlife damage in intensively managed landscapes often undermine conservation efforts, making damage mitigation and compensation of special concern for wildlife conservation. However, the mechanisms underlying the occurrence of damage and claims at large scales are still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the patterns of damage caused by brown bears Ursus arctos and its ecological and socio-economic correlates at a continental scale. We compiled information...

Registration Year

  • 2016

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • UNSW Sydney
  • University of Konstanz
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • Monash University
  • University of Oxford
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Estación Biológica de Doñana
  • University of Zagreb