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Evolution of Fledging Choice: When to fight for territory?

Witsenburg, F. (2007) Evolution of Fledging Choice: When to fight for territory? Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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The 'goal' for any organism is to reproduce, thereby securing the persistence of its genes for the next generation. Many vertebrate species need a territoiy before reproduction is possible. When good quality territories are not available a fledgling may opt for other routes to breeding. Several theoretical studies have been performed on breeding in low quality territories, delaying dispersal and floating behaviour. 'Squeezing in' a territory, is an active and aggressive option which results in a small and not yet productive territory for the fledgling. Under which circumstances should a fledgling decide to squeeze in a territoiy? I used an individual based simulation model in which floaters have two options to become a breeder: through waiting for a territory to become available, or through squeezing in a territory. The results showed that squeezing is much more prevalent when larger parts of territories are overtaken. In contrast, the chance of succeeding in this squeezing attempt does not influence the evolution of squeezing at all. The mortality of breeders and floaters both influence the occurrence of squeezing, but not in a linear way. Relative high breeder survival promotes squeezing, as does high floater survival. Territory owners defend their territories against squeezing attempts when they could loose a lot of territory, but not if these attempts have a high chance of being made by philopatric offspring.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:31

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