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Responses of a resident group to an outsider in the blue-breasted quail: a paradigm for studying social resettlement of dispersers

Citation

Du, Bo et al. (2022), Responses of a resident group to an outsider in the blue-breasted quail: a paradigm for studying social resettlement of dispersers, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3j9kd51mx

Abstract

Dispersal is an individual life history trait that can influence the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the source and recipient populations. Current studies of animal dispersal have paid little attention to how the responses of residents in a recipient population affect the social resettlement of dispersers into a new habitat. We addressed this question in the blue-breasted quail Synoicus chinensis by designing an outsider introduction experiment to simulate a scenario of interaction between residents and dispersers. In the experiment, we introduced an unfamiliar quail into a group of three differently ranked residents and then examined their behavioral responses to the arrival of the outsider. We found that all residents made negative responses by pecking at the outsider to maintain their pecking order, in which high-ranked residents displayed significantly greater intensity than those of lower ranks. This result highlighted that adverse behavioral responses of residents would prevent outsiders from obtaining hierarchical dominance in the recipient group. Moreover, the residents’ sex ratio, their relative ages to the outsiders, and whether outsiders counter-pecked at the residents all influenced the probability of outsiders prevailing against the residents. Those outsiders that displayed counter-peck courage were more likely to gain higher dominance and hence resettle into the recipient group successfully. Our findings suggest that resident groups may impose a selection among dispersers via adverse behavioral responses. Therefore, social factors that can influence the resettlement step of dispersers in a new habitat should be accounted for in future studies of animal dispersal.

Methods

We collected dataset from a designed experiment. These data had been collected from video recordings.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: Grant 32071491

Natural Science Foundation of the Tibetan, Award: XZ202101ZR0051G

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: Grant 31772465