- Shifting individual habitat specialization of a successful predator living in anthropogenic landscapes
- Marine Ecology - Progress Series
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Population expansions of successful species have gained importance as a major conservation and management concern. The success of these ‘winners’ is widely attributed to their high adaptability and behavioural plasticity, which allow them to efficiently use opportunities provided by human-modified habitats. However, most of these studies consider conspecifics as ecological equivalents, without considering the individual components within populations. This is critical for a better understanding of the main ecological mechanisms related to the success of winning species. Here, we investigated the spatial ecology of the opportunistic yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis, a clear example of a winning species in southern Europe, to examine its degree of individual specialization in habitat use. To test for such individual strategies, we applied specialization metrics to spatial data obtained from 18 yellow-legged gulls that were GPS-tracked simultaneously during the breeding season. The results revealed that population-level generalism in habitat use in the yellow-legged gull arises through varying levels of individual specialization, and individual spatial segregation within each habitat. Importantly, we found that the combination of individual specialization and individual spatial segregation may reduce intra-specific competition, with these 2 important mechanisms driving the success of this winning species.
- go to publisher's site
- In theme section: Individual variability in seabird foraging and migration
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.