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Individual variation in the dear enemy phenomenon via territorial vocalizations in red squirrels

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dc.contributor.advisor McAdam, Andrew Robertson, Jack G 2018-09-05T18:19:45Z 2018-09-05T18:19:45Z 2018-09 2018-08-14 2018-09-05
dc.description.abstract Territoriality arises when the benefits of exclusive access to resources exceed the costs of defense. Behavioural plasticity increases the net benefits of territoriality by reducing defensive effort, often through the dear enemy phenomenon where familiarity reduces intrusion risk. Red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) follow the dear enemy phenomenon, but the mechanism by which red squirrels recognize conspecifics is unknown. I hypothesized that they use territorial calls, and predicted that familiar calls would better deter intruders than unfamiliar calls. I temporarily removed squirrels from their territories and replaced them with a speaker broadcasting the owner’s call, an unfamiliar call, or silence. Owner calls did not more effectively repel intruders than unfamiliar calls. However, intruder identity varied: unfamiliar neighbours intruded during owner playback, but familiarity did not affect intrusions during unfamiliar playback. Individual variation in familiarity and changes in population density and composition can affect the strength and detectability of dear enemy effects. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship OGS, NSERC CGS-M award (J Robertson), NSERC Discovery Grant (A McAdam), Northern Scientific Training Program (J Robertson), American Society of Mammalogists (J Robertson) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject animal behaviour en_US
dc.subject behavioural plasticity en_US
dc.subject territoriality en_US
dc.subject red squirrel en_US
dc.subject acoustic communication en_US
dc.title Individual variation in the dear enemy phenomenon via territorial vocalizations in red squirrels en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada