Learning the hard way: imprinting can enhance enforced shifts in habitat choice
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Ecology, ISSN 1687-9708, E-ISSN 1687-9716, 287532Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We investigated the potential importance of learning in habitat choice within a young hybrid zone of two closely related speciesof birds. Pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) are being excluded from deciduous habitats into a mixed forest type by collaredflycatchers (F. albicollis). We investigated whether this enforced habitat shift influenced reproductive isolation between the twospecies, and, by cross-fostering nestlings, we tested whether learning may lead to a corresponding shift in habitat choice inconsecutive generations. Our results show that the majority of the recruits, even if translocated across different habitat types,return to breed in the area where they were fostered. As male pied flycatchers were more likely to hybridize in the originallypreferred habitat, we argue that early imprinting on an alternate habitat can play an important role in increasing reproductiveisolation and facilitate regional coexistence between species experiencing secondary contact.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-157145DOI: 10.1155/2011/287532OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-157145DiVA: diva2:435129
FunderSwedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council