Causes and consequences of dispersal in a resident boreal passerine
Knowledge of the mechanisms governing, and the downstream effects of dispersal movements is essential to understanding the implications of dispersal for individual fitness, gene flow, and population dynamics. In this thesis, I integrate radio-tracking and long-term demographic data to investigate the causes and consequences of natal and breeding dispersal in a food-caching passerine, the Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis), in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. In my first chapter, I review the literature to synthesize what is known about the causes and consequences of natal and breeding dispersal in birds. In my second chapter, I use radio-tracking data to examine the patterns of juvenile dispersal and survival in first-year Canada jays to demonstrate the survival consequences of delayed dispersal. In my third chapter, I combine radio-tracking and long-term demographic data to assess the effects of early-life social status and juvenile dispersal on direct and inclusive fitness. In my fourth chapter, I use long-term breeding dispersal data on Canada jays to examine the factors influencing adults to switch breeding territories between years. In my final chapter, I use long-term breeding dispersal and demographic data to investigate the short- and long-term fitness consequences of breeding dispersal in adults. Together, my thesis highlights how dispersal can carry-over to influence individual fitness, but also demonstrates that the causes and consequences of dispersal vary between juveniles and adults and according to social and environmental conditions.
Fuirst M, Strickland D, Norris DR (2021) Breeding dispersal in a resident boreal passerine can lead to short- and long-term fitness benefits. Ecosphere 12: e03747. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3747