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Sex, growth rate, rank order after brood reduction, and hatching date affect first-year survival of long-lived Herring Gulls

Davy Bosman (UGent) , Eric WM Stienen and Luc Lens (UGent)
(2016) JOURNAL OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGY. 87(4). p.391-403
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Abstract
Among most species of birds, survival from hatching throughout the first year of life is generally lower than subsequent survival rates. Survival of young birds during their first year may depend on a combination of selection, learning, unpredictable resources, and environmental events (i.e., post-fledging factors). However, knowledge about post-fledging development in long-lived species is usually limited due to a lengthy immature stage when individuals are generally unobservable. Therefore, pre-fledging characteristics are often used to predict the survival of young birds. We assessed effects of nestling growth rates, hatching date, hatching asynchrony, brood size and rank order after brood reduction, and sex on first-year survival of 137 fledglings using a mark-resighting analysis. We found that the survival probability (Phi(1yr) = 0.39) of first-year Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in our study colony located at the outer port of Zeebrugge (Belgium) was lower than that of older individuals (Phi(>1yr) = 0.75). All 10 models best supported by our data included nestling growth rate, suggesting that variability in first-year survival may be linked primarily to individual variation in growth. First-year survival was negatively correlated with hatching date and rank order after brood reduction. Hence, carry-over effects of breeding season events such as timing of breeding, early development, and social status had an influence on survival of Herring Gulls after fledging. Furthermore, we found sex-biased mortality in first-year Herring Gulls, with females (Phi(1yr) = 0.45) surviving better than males (Phi(1yr) = 0.38). Although adult survival is generally regarded as the key parameter driving population trajectories in long-lived species, juvenile survival has recently been acknowledged as an important source of variability in population growth rates. Thus, increasing our knowledge of factors affecting age-specific survival rates is necessary to improve our understanding of population dynamics and ultimately life-history variation.
Keywords
Larus argentatus, post-fledging, pre-fledging, sex-biased mortality, social status, timing of breeding, TERNS STERNA-DOUGALLII, BRANT BRANTA-BERNICLA, BLACK-BACKED GULL, EGG-SIZE, JUVENILE SURVIVAL, LARUS-ARGENTATUS, CLUTCH SIZE, POSTFLEDGING SURVIVAL, FITNESS CONSEQUENCES, PARENTAL INVESTMENT

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Chicago
Bosman, Davy, Eric WM Stienen, and Luc Lens. 2016. “Sex, Growth Rate, Rank Order After Brood Reduction, and Hatching Date Affect First-year Survival of Long-lived Herring Gulls.” Journal of Field Ornithology 87 (4): 391–403.
APA
Bosman, D., Stienen, E. W., & Lens, L. (2016). Sex, growth rate, rank order after brood reduction, and hatching date affect first-year survival of long-lived Herring Gulls. JOURNAL OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGY, 87(4), 391–403.
Vancouver
1.
Bosman D, Stienen EW, Lens L. Sex, growth rate, rank order after brood reduction, and hatching date affect first-year survival of long-lived Herring Gulls. JOURNAL OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGY. 2016;87(4):391–403.
MLA
Bosman, Davy, Eric WM Stienen, and Luc Lens. “Sex, Growth Rate, Rank Order After Brood Reduction, and Hatching Date Affect First-year Survival of Long-lived Herring Gulls.” JOURNAL OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGY 87.4 (2016): 391–403. Print.
@article{8501163,
  abstract     = {Among most species of birds, survival from hatching throughout the first year of life is generally lower than subsequent survival rates. Survival of young birds during their first year may depend on a combination of selection, learning, unpredictable resources, and environmental events (i.e., post-fledging factors). However, knowledge about post-fledging development in long-lived species is usually limited due to a lengthy immature stage when individuals are generally unobservable. Therefore, pre-fledging characteristics are often used to predict the survival of young birds. We assessed effects of nestling growth rates, hatching date, hatching asynchrony, brood size and rank order after brood reduction, and sex on first-year survival of 137 fledglings using a mark-resighting analysis. We found that the survival probability (Phi(1yr) = 0.39) of first-year Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in our study colony located at the outer port of Zeebrugge (Belgium) was lower than that of older individuals (Phi({\textrangle}1yr) = 0.75). All 10 models best supported by our data included nestling growth rate, suggesting that variability in first-year survival may be linked primarily to individual variation in growth. First-year survival was negatively correlated with hatching date and rank order after brood reduction. Hence, carry-over effects of breeding season events such as timing of breeding, early development, and social status had an influence on survival of Herring Gulls after fledging. Furthermore, we found sex-biased mortality in first-year Herring Gulls, with females (Phi(1yr) = 0.45) surviving better than males (Phi(1yr) = 0.38). Although adult survival is generally regarded as the key parameter driving population trajectories in long-lived species, juvenile survival has recently been acknowledged as an important source of variability in population growth rates. Thus, increasing our knowledge of factors affecting age-specific survival rates is necessary to improve our understanding of population dynamics and ultimately life-history variation.},
  author       = {Bosman, Davy and Stienen, Eric WM and Lens, Luc},
  issn         = {0273-8570},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGY},
  keyword      = {Larus argentatus,post-fledging,pre-fledging,sex-biased mortality,social status,timing of breeding,TERNS STERNA-DOUGALLII,BRANT BRANTA-BERNICLA,BLACK-BACKED GULL,EGG-SIZE,JUVENILE SURVIVAL,LARUS-ARGENTATUS,CLUTCH SIZE,POSTFLEDGING SURVIVAL,FITNESS CONSEQUENCES,PARENTAL INVESTMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {391--403},
  title        = {Sex, growth rate, rank order after brood reduction, and hatching date affect first-year survival of long-lived Herring Gulls},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12177},
  volume       = {87},
  year         = {2016},
}

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