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The day after : effects of vocal interactions on territory defence in nightingales

Schmidt, R. and Amrhein, V. and Kunc, H. P. and Naguib, M.. (2007) The day after : effects of vocal interactions on territory defence in nightingales. The journal of animal ecology, Vol. 76, H. 1. pp. 168-173.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251753

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Abstract

Models on territory acquisition and tenure predict that territorial animals benefit by adjusting territorial defence behaviour to previous challenges they had experienced within the socially complex environment of communication networks. Here, we addressed such issues of social cognition by investigating persisting effects of vocal contests on territory defence behaviour in nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos (Brehm). Using interactive playback during nocturnal song of subjects, a rival was simulated to countersing either aggressively (by song overlapping) or moderately (by song alternating) from outside the subjects' territory. Thereby, the time-specific singing strategy provided an experimentally controlled source of information on the motivation of an unfamiliar rival. Expecting that nightingales integrate information with time, the same rival was simulated to return as a moderately singing intruder on the following morning. The results show that the vigour with which male nightingales responded to the simulated intrusion of an opponent during the day depended on the nature of the nocturnal vocal interaction experienced several hours before. Males that had received the song overlapping playback the preceding night approached the simulated intruder more quickly and closer and sang more songs near the loudspeaker than did males that had received a song alternating playback. This adjustment of territory defence strategies depending on information from prior signalling experience suggests that integrating information with time plays an important part in territory defence by affecting a male's decision making in a communication network.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Zoologie
UniBasel Contributors:Amrhein, Valentin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Blackwell Science
ISSN:0021-8790
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:24
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:41

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