Asymmetric competition between two tit species: A reciprocal removal experiment

J. Török, László Tóth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. In a 5-year field experiment, competition for food was tested between great tit (Parus major L.) and blue tit (P. caeruleus L.), two common hole-nesters in Central Europe. Experimental ('allopatric') populations of both species were created during the breeding seasons by preventing the nesting or egg laying of one of the competing species. 2. An asymmetric relationship was found between the two tits; blue tits were more successful in the competitive interaction. Detectable effects were found only in nestling condition. Great tits raised lighter nestlings when breeding sympatrically with blue tits. 3. A possible mechanism is suggested that could be responsible for the different competitive abilities of the two species; blue tits are more effective in utilizing the most abundant size categories of caterpillar food supply than great tits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-345
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999

Fingerprint

asymmetric competition
removal experiment
Cyanistes caeruleus
nestling
competitive ability
caterpillar
food supply
breeding season
Parus major
allopatry
breeding
Central European region
egg
insect larvae
oviposition
food
nestlings

Keywords

  • Blue tit
  • Competition for food
  • Diet segregation
  • Great tit
  • Removal experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology

Cite this

Asymmetric competition between two tit species : A reciprocal removal experiment. / Török, J.; Tóth, László.

In: Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 68, No. 2, 03.1999, p. 338-345.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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