Publication details.

Paper

Year:2019
Author(s):Á. Luna, A. Palma, A. Sanz-Aguilar, J. Tella, M. Carrete
Title:Personality-dependent breeding dispersal in rural but not urban burrowing owls
Journal:Scientific Reports
ISSN:2045-2322
Volume:9
Issue No.:1
Pages:2886
D.O.I.:10.1038/s41598-019-39251-w
Web:https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39251-w
Abstract:© 2019, The Author(s). Dispersal propensity has been correlated with personality traits, conspecific density and predation risk in a variety of species. Thus, changes in the relative frequency of behavioural phenotypes or in the ecological pressures faced by individuals in contrasting habitats can have unexpected effects on their dispersal strategies. Here, using the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia as a study model, we test whether changes in the behavioural profile of individuals and changes in conspecific density and predation pressure associated with urban life influence their breeding dispersal decisions compared to rural conspecifics. Our results show that breeding dispersal behaviour differs between rural and urban individuals. Site fidelity was lower among rural than among urban birds, and primarily related to an individual’s behaviours (fear of humans), which has been reported to reflect individual personality. In contrast, the main determinant of site fidelity among urban owls was conspecific density. After taking the decision of dispersing, urban owls moved shorter distances than rural ones, with females dispersing farther than males. Our results support a personality-dependent dispersal pattern that might vary with predation risk. However, as multiple individuals of two populations (one urban, one rural) were used for this research, differences can thus also be caused by other factors differing between the two populations. Further research is needed to properly understand the ecological and evolutionary consequences of changes in dispersal behaviours, especially in terms of population structuring and gene flow between urban and rural populations.

Related staff

  • Ana Sanz Aguilar
  • Related departments

  • Animal and Microbial Biodiversity