Identifying drivers of breeding success in a long-distance migrant using structural equation modelling

Souchay, Guillaume; van Wijk, Rien E.; Schaub, Michael; Bauer, Silke (2018). Identifying drivers of breeding success in a long-distance migrant using structural equation modelling. Oikos, 127(1), pp. 125-133. Wiley 10.1111/oik.04247

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In migrant animals, conditions encountered at various times and places through- out their annual cycle may affect breeding success. Yet, most studies so far have only investigated the effect of specific parts of the annual cycle, despite the importance to understand how different stages can interact and how these stages compare to intrinsic quality to properly modulate breeding success. Using a structural equation model- ling approach, we investigated drivers of breeding success (migration cycle, individual quality, breeding conditions) in hoopoes Upupa epops, a long-distant migrant. Our causal framework explained 75% of the variation in breeding success. The effect of the migration schedule was negligible, whereas the previous breeding attempt strongly influenced current breeding success. We suggest that the interplay of individual qual- ity and environmental conditions during both previous and current breeding season may be more important drivers of breeding success than migration schedules, even in a long-distance migrant. We conclude that structural equation modeling is a promising tool to investigate causal relationships. Applied to hoopoes, we demonstrated that cur- rent breeding success is strongly linked to previous breeding success. Complementary analysis integrating weather and climate conditions during migration and the breeding season may provide a deeper and wider overview of the annual cycle of hoopoes and additional insights into the existence of carry-over effects in breeding success.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Schaub, Michael

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0030-1299

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2019 15:39

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 19:04

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/oik.04247

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.126995

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/126995

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