Happy to breed in the city? : Urban food resources limit reproductive output in Western Jackdaws

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2017
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Meyrier, Eva
Jenni, Lukas
Bötsch, Yves
Strebel, Stephan
Tablado, Zulima
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Ecology and Evolution. 2017, 7(5), pp. 1363-1374. eISSN 2045-7758. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ece3.2733
Zusammenfassung

Urban areas expand worldwide, transforming landscapes and creating new challenging habitats. Some bird species, mainly omnivorous feeding on human waste and cavity nesters, commonly breed in these habitats and are, therefore, regarded as urban-adapted. Although urban areas may provide new nesting sites and abundant human waste, the low breeding success found in some of these species suggests that the poor protein content in human waste might limit breeding parameters. We investigated whether the breeding success of a cavity nester and omnivorous species commonly breeding in urban areas, the Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), depended on the availability of good-quality non-urban food. We approached the objective by combining a literature review and experiments in the field. With the literature review, we compared jackdaw populations in different habitats across Europe and found that clutch size and number of fledglings per pair decreased with distance to non-urban foraging grounds, even after controlling for the effect of colony size, latitude, and climate. In two experiments, we tested whether the breeding success of urban pairs could be increased by supplementing high-quality food, first only during egg formation and second also until chick fledging. Food supplementation during egg formation led to larger eggs and higher hatching success than in urban control nests, but this did not result in higher chick survival. However, when food supplementation was prolonged until fledging in the second experiment, we observed a significant increase of nestling survival. These findings highlight that research and management actions should not only focus on species displaced by urbanization, but also on "urban-adapted" species, as they might be suffering from a mismatch between availability of nesting sites in buildings and adequate non-urban food resources. In these cases, nest sites should be provided in or close to adequate food resources.

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ISO 690MEYRIER, Eva, Lukas JENNI, Yves BÖTSCH, Stephan STREBEL, Bruno ERNE, Zulima TABLADO, 2017. Happy to breed in the city? : Urban food resources limit reproductive output in Western Jackdaws. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2017, 7(5), pp. 1363-1374. eISSN 2045-7758. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ece3.2733
BibTex
@article{Meyrier2017-03Happy-38581,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.1002/ece3.2733},
  title={Happy to breed in the city? : Urban food resources limit reproductive output in Western Jackdaws},
  number={5},
  volume={7},
  journal={Ecology and Evolution},
  pages={1363--1374},
  author={Meyrier, Eva and Jenni, Lukas and Bötsch, Yves and Strebel, Stephan and Erne, Bruno and Tablado, Zulima}
}
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