Meeting Abstract

57.4  Saturday, Jan. 5  Behavioral plasticity mediates life history trade-offs in response to habitat disturbance WILLIAMS-SIEG, K. A.*; MILES, D. B.; Ohio University

Environmental variation is known to induce trade-offs, which requires shifts in energy allocation among behaviors involved in reproduction, parental care and self-maintenance, thereby affecting reproductive success and survival. We examined behavioral plasticity in hooded warblers (Setophaga citrina) in response to alteration of habitat structure due to commercial logging and linked plasticity in behavior to reproductive success. A seven state Markov model was used to describe how birds move through the habitat, how they attack prey, prey handling behaviors, and reproductive behaviors. We found significant differences in the transition probabilities among males in the undisturbed stand compared to the disturbed stand including how they searched for and attacked prey. Males in the disturbed stand had higher transition probabilities from short flight to aerial attack while males in the undisturbed stand were more likely to transition from hop to surface attack. Males in the disturbed stand were more likely to transition from non feeding behaviors to short flight consistent with observations of opportunistic foraging while singing. This suite of behaviors suggests that aerial attacks may ameliorate time budget trade-offs. Significantly fewer young were fledged per nest in the disturbed stand compared to the undisturbed stand. In 2010, individuals that were more plastic also fledged more young. In 2011 this trend was reversed; however, the pattern may be driven by the high levels of brown headed cowbird nest parasitism in the disturbed stand which reduced brood size. This study demonstrates that behavioral plasticity varies between years and in relation to habitat disturbance. In addition, plasticity is associated with reproductive success thus providing support for the hypothesis that plasticity is adaptive.