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Social carry-over effects underpin trans-seasonally linked structure in a wild bird population [Ecology Letters]

Keywords : carry-over effects, habitat selection, social networks, social relationships, spatial structure, territory choice

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Spatial structure underpins numerous population processes by determining the environment individuals’ experience and which other individuals they encounter. Yet, how the social landscape influences individuals’ spatial decisions remains largely unexplored. Wild great tits (Parus major) form freely moving winter flocks, but choose a single location to establish a breeding territory over the spring. We demonstrate that individuals’ winter social associations carry-over into their subsequent spatial decisions, as individuals breed nearer to those they were most associated with during winter.(...)

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