COS 110-6
Nest fidelity is driven by multi-scale information in a long-lived seabird

Thursday, August 14, 2014: 3:20 PM
309/310, Sacramento Convention Center
Alexandre Robert, Umr 7204, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Vitor Paiva, Universidade de Coimbra
Mark Bolton, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Frédéric Jiguet, UMR 7204 MNHN-CNRS-UPMC, Centre d'Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Joel Bried, Universidade dos Açores

Although the reproductive success of most organisms depends on factors acting at several spatial scales, little is known about how organisms are able to synthetise multi-scale information to optimize reproduction. Previous works in vertebrates have uncovered three types of information-gathering processes used by animals to maximize their fitness: (1) the ‘win-stay, lose-switch’ model, in which individuals decide to e.g. divorce or disperse from their breeding site based on their own breeding outcome, (2) the use of social or non social (e.g., physical facts) information to select habitat, (3) the ability to process predictive information about the quality of a given breeding season. Here, we integrated these three processes in the context of the theory of habitat selection to understand how individuals combine multi-scale information. We used a high quality longitudinal, individual based dataset on a long lived seabird, Monteiro’s Storm-petrel. We predicted that successful reproduction of a given breeding pair is a better indicator of pair or breeding site quality if it occurs in a year with bad distant environmental conditions and low reproductive success at the colony level, than if occurring in a good year with high average success.


Our analysis demonstrates that (1) Breeding success is variable among pairs, individual breeding sites and years and strongly affected by some climatic and oceanic factors; (2) At the pair level, both mate and breeding site fidelity are higher following successful reproduction; (3) In agreement with our predictions, the relationship between breeding site fidelity and pair breeding success is stronger in years with unfavorable distant extrinsic conditions (i.e., oceanic factors). Overall, our results strongly suggest that individuals rely on distant information to modulate their use of proximal information and adjust their reproduction strategy.