Competition and predation models applied to the case of the sibling birds species ofhippolais in burgundy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2) (1993)
We study the case of two sibling species ofHippolais(Aves). Very little differences can be observed in the morphology of both species. The breeding area of these species are complementary. Roughly, one species breeds North and East of Europe (Hippolais icterina) while the other breeds South and West of Europe (Hippolais polyglotta). There exitst a narrow zone of sympatry passing through Burgundy. Since several years, it has been observed that this area of sympatry was moving in the North-East direction at a European scale. This means that progressivelyH. icterina is declining and is replaced byH. polyglotta. Some assumptions can be made in order to explain this evolution, for instance competition or predation. Series of observations concerning the diets of nestlings of both species have been realized. These observations show some differences in the diet compositions. The breeding success of the two species has been studied. Numerical simulations of a competition model taking into account the observed differences between the food types eaten by the two species are presented. These simulations do not explain the regression ofH. icterina. Then, we present numerical simulations of a predation model with one predator attacking the nestlings of both species. These simulations show that with time one of the two preys must extinct. Predation rather than competition seems to be the right explanation.
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