Interference from long-tailed finches constrains reproduction in the endangered Gouldian finch
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 80, Issue 1, pages 39–48, January 2011
How to Cite
Brazill-Boast, J., van Rooij, E., Pryke, S. R. and Griffith, S. C. (2011), Interference from long-tailed finches constrains reproduction in the endangered Gouldian finch. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80: 39–48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01756.x
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2010
- Received 24 March 2010; accepted 20 August 2010 Handling Editor: Alex Roulin
- Erythrura gouldiae;
- heterospecific aggression;
- interspecific competition;
- Poephila acuticauda
1. Interspecific interference competition for nest-sites among cavity-nesting birds can have important effects on reproductive fitness and the distribution of competing species.
2. We observed interference at nest-sites in free-living populations of the endangered Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) and sympatric long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), and also experimentally tested the relative strength and effect of interference at nest-sites in captive populations.
3. Levels of competitive interference at nest-sites in the wild were high for Gouldian, but not long-tailed finches, and interference frequency was inversely related to Gouldian finch reproductive success. High levels of interference conferred reduced fledging success but did not affect offspring condition.
4. Captive experiments corroborated the field data, also demonstrating fitness costs of interspecific competition, and that long-tailed finches dominated resources under standardized conditions.
5. Such asymmetrical competition dynamics are likely to constrain reproduction in Gouldian finch populations, potentially affecting recruitment and hindering the recovery of remaining populations of this endangered species.