Density-dependent regulation of population size in colonial breeders: allee and buffer effects in the migratory Montagu's harrier

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Title: Density-dependent regulation of population size in colonial breeders: allee and buffer effects in the migratory Montagu's harrier
Other Titles: Regulación denso-dependiente del tamaño de población en especies de reproducción colonial: efecto Allee y efecto buffer en una especie migradora como el Aguilucho cenizo
Authors: Soutullo, Alvaro | Limiñana, Rubén | Urios, Vicente | Surroca Royo, Martín | Gill, Jennifer A.
Research Group/s: Zoología de Vertebrados
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales | Centro de Recuperación de Fauna “Forn del Vidre” | University of East Anglia. School of Biological Sciences
Keywords: Allee effect | Buffer effect | Density dependence | Ideal despotic distribution | Ideal free distribution
Knowledge Area: Ornitología
Date Created: 24-Jan-2006
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2006
Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
Citation: SOUTULLO BUGALLO, Álvaro Alberto, et al. "Density-dependent regulation of population size in colonial breeders: allee and buffer effects in the migratory Montagu's harrier". Oecologia. Vol. 149, No. 3 (Sept. 2006). ISSN 0029-8549, pp. 543-552
Abstract: Expanding populations offer an opportunity to uncover the processes driving spatial variation in distribution and abundance. Individual settlement decisions will be influenced by the availability and relative quality of patches, and by how these respond to changes in conspecific density. For example, conspecific presence can alter patch suitability through reductions in resource availability or territorial exclusion, leading to buffer effect patterns of disproportionate population expansion into poorer quality areas. However, conspecific presence can also enhance patch suitability through Allee effect processes, such as transmission of information about resources or improved predator detection and deterrence. Here, we explore the factors underlying the settlement pattern of a growing population of Montagu’s harriers (Circus pygargus) in Spain. The population increased exponentially between 1981 and 2001, but stabilised between 2001 and 2004. This population increase occurred alongside a remarkable spatial expansion, with novel site use occurring prior to maximum densities in occupied sites being reached. However, no temporal trends in fecundity were observed and, within sites, average fecundity did not decline with increasing density. Across the population, variance in productivity did increase with population size, suggesting a complex pattern of density-dependent costs and benefits. We suggest that both Allee and buffer effects are operating in this system, with the benefits of conspecific presence counteracting density-dependent declines in resource availability or quality.
Sponsor: Fundación Terra Natura; Aeropuerto de Castellón
ISSN: 0029-8549 (Print) | 1432-1939 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-006-0465-5
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: The original publication is available at
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - ZV - Artículos Científicos
INV - CYT - Otros Trabajos de Investigación

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