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Fidelity and breeding probability related to population density and individual quality in black brent geese Branta bernicla nigricans

TitleFidelity and breeding probability related to population density and individual quality in black brent geese Branta bernicla nigricans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSedinger, JS, Chelgren, ND, Ward, DH, Lindberg, MS
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume77
Pagination702–712
Abstract

1.Patterns of temporary emigration (associated with non-breeding) are important components ofvariation in individual quality. Permanent emigration from the natal area has important implicationsfor both individual fitness and local population dynamics.2.We estimated both permanent and temporary emigration of black brent geese (Branta berniclanigricansLawrence) from the Tutakoke River colony, using observations of marked brentgeese on breeding and wintering areas, and recoveries of ringed individuals by hunters. We used thelikelihood developed by Lindberg, Kendall, Hines & Anderson 2001 (Combining band recoverydata and Pollock’s robust design to model temporary and permanent emigration.Biometrics,57,273–281) to assess hypotheses and estimate parameters.3.Temporary emigration (the converse of breeding) varied among age classes up to age 5, anddiffered between individuals that bred in the previous years vs. those that did not. Consistent withthe hypothesis of variation in individual quality, individuals with a higher probability of breedingin one year also had a higher probability of breeding the next year.4.Natal fidelity of females ranged from 0·70 ± 0·07–0·96 ± 0·18 and averaged 0·83. In contrast toLindberget al. (1998), we did not detect a relationship between fidelity and local populationdensity. Natal fidelity was negatively correlated with first-year survival, suggesting that competitionamong individuals of the same age for breeding territories influenced dispersal. Once femalesnested at the Tutakoke River, colony breeding fidelity was 1·0.5.Our analyses show substantial variation in individual quality associated with fitness, whichother analyses suggest is strongly influenced by early environment. Our analyses also suggestsubstantial interchange among breeding colonies of brent geese, as first shown by Lindberget al.(1998).

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