Where, who, and when? Key drivers of territorial responses: a comment on Christensen and Radford

Where, who, and when? Key drivers of territorial responses: a comment on Christensen and Radford Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article-abstract/29/5/1014/4931300 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 17 October 2018 The official journal of the Behavioral Ecology ISBE International Society for Behavioral Ecology Behavioral Ecology (2018), 29(5), 1014–1020. Invited Commentaries It seems unlikely that dichotomies such as NSD and DE/NN Where, who, and when? Key drivers of effects have the scope to move forward our understanding of ter - territorial responses: a comment on ritorial behavior. Given that whether an individual neighbor elicits Christensen and Radford a DE rather than a NN response may boil down to how close it is a, b, to the territory centre or other defended resource, or to the out- Peter K. McGregor and Mark A. Bee come of recent interactions between the same individuals, we need Centre for Applied Zoology, Cornwall College Newquay, Trenance a new approach. Perhaps recognizing that key drivers of territory Gardens, Newquay, TR7 2LZ, UK and Department of Ecology, response vary in relative importance may help stimulate new, loca- Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 1987 tion-identity-time-explicit models. Not so much “location, location, Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA location” as “location, identity, time.” In writing this commentary we failed to find succinct terms that Discussions about territorial defense, whether by individuals or captured the essence of the behaviors under discussion. Behavioral groups, must consider the location of the stimulus eliciting a ter- ecology has a history of using terms from everyday language to ritorial response as a factor that is distinct from individual identity. good effect when characterizing adaptive behaviors. And we are all Such discussions also need to give due prominence to the effects in favor of calling a spade a spade, but as Frederic Clements knew of location. This not a new point; for example, it was made very when coining the term geotome* there are times when a neologism clearly by Bruce Falls in 1982 (cited in Christensen and Radford is needed. Perhaps territoriality needs new terms now? 2018) and Christensen and Radford (2018) also mention location * probably most familiar in the jibe “an ecologist is someone briefly. Refocusing attention on location will help to clarify the who calls a spade a geotome”; a jibe that misses the point, as Taub behavior being discussed and location’s role in relation to other (1995) explains. drivers of territorial responses. There are many examples that illustrate the importance of loca- Address correspondence to P.K. McGregor. peter.mcgregor@cornwall.ac.uk. tion and how it interacts with individual identity in eliciting a territo- rial response. In some instances, location seems to be the overriding Received 31 January 2018; accepted 21 February 2018.; editorial decision factor. For example, song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) respond equally 13 February 2018; Advance Access publication 13 March 2018 strongly to song playback at the centre of the territory regardless of doi:10.1093/beheco/ary025 whether the song is that of a neighbor or a stranger (Stoddard et al. 1991). In other instances, individual identity together with location Editor-in-Chief: Leigh Simmons in relation to the defended territory determine the level of response. For example, great tits (Parus major) and bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) both respond less strongly to playback of a neighbor’s vocalizations REFERENCES from just outside the territory boundary shared with that neighbor than to the same vocalizations played from the opposite (“wrong”) Christensen C, Radford AN. 2018. Dear enemies or nasty neighbours? Causes and consequences of variation in the responses of group-living boundary (Davis 1987; McGregor and Avery 1986; also Stoddard species to territorial intrusions. Behav Ecol. 29:1004–1013. et al. 1991). A context in which individual identity is likely to over- Davis MS. 1987. Acoustically mediated neighbor recognition in the ride location is in repeated interactions between individuals known North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. to each other—emphasizing a time dimension that is implicit in 21:185–190. McGregor PK. 2017. Communication networks and eavesdropping in ani- Neighbor versus Stranger Discrimination (NSD) and Dear Enemy mals. In: Squires L. editor. Reference module in neuroscience and biobe- versus Nasty Neighbour (DE/NN) effects. havioral psychology. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 9780128093245. The examples above feature individuals defending territories McGregor PK, Avery MI. 1986. The unsung songs of great tits (Parus major): rather than groups. However, such individuals are better consid- learning neighbours’ songs for discrimination. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. ered as elements within a communication network (e.g., McGregor 18:311–316. Oliveira RF, McGregor PK, Latruffe C. 1998. Know thine enemy: fighting 2017), a context in which location, individual identity and time fish gather information from observing conspecific interactions. Proc Roy influence territorial responses. Experimental demonstrations of the Soc Lond B. 265:1045–1049. role in territory defense of information gathered by social eaves- Peake TM, Terry AM, McGregor PK, Dabelsteen T. 2002. Do great tits dropping (e.g., Oliveira et al. 1998) and of such information com- assess rivals by combining direct experience with information gathered by eavesdropping? Proc Roy Soc Lond B. 269:1925–1929. bined with direct experience (e.g., Peake et  al. 2002) highlight the Stoddard PK, Beecher MD, Horning CL, Campbell SE. 1991. Recognition importance of repeated interactions between known individuals in of individual neighbors by song in the song sparrow, a species with song subsequent territorial behavior. The similarity between the con- repertoires. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 29:211–215. cepts of communication networks and social networks has obvious Taub DR. 1995. Ecology and the geotome: calling a spade a spade. Bull relevance to group territoriality. Ecol Soc Am. 76:54. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behavioral Ecology Oxford University Press

Where, who, and when? Key drivers of territorial responses: a comment on Christensen and Radford

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Abstract

Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article-abstract/29/5/1014/4931300 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 17 October 2018 The official journal of the Behavioral Ecology ISBE International Society for Behavioral Ecology Behavioral Ecology (2018), 29(5), 1014–1020. Invited Commentaries It seems unlikely that dichotomies such as NSD and DE/NN Where, who, and when? Key drivers of effects have the scope to move forward our understanding of ter - territorial responses: a comment on ritorial behavior. Given that whether an individual neighbor elicits Christensen and Radford a DE rather than a NN response may boil down to how close it is a, b, to the territory centre or other defended resource, or to the out- Peter K. McGregor and Mark A. Bee come of recent interactions between the same individuals, we need Centre for Applied Zoology, Cornwall College Newquay, Trenance a new approach. Perhaps recognizing that key drivers of territory Gardens, Newquay, TR7 2LZ, UK and Department of Ecology, response vary in relative importance may help stimulate new, loca- Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 1987 tion-identity-time-explicit models. Not so much “location, location, Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA location” as “location, identity, time.” In writing this commentary we failed to find succinct terms that Discussions about territorial defense, whether by individuals or captured the essence of the behaviors under discussion. Behavioral groups, must consider the location of the stimulus eliciting a ter- ecology has a history of using terms from everyday language to ritorial response as a factor that is distinct from individual identity. good effect when characterizing adaptive behaviors. And we are all Such discussions also need to give due prominence to the effects in favor of calling a spade a spade, but as Frederic Clements knew of location. This not a new point; for example, it was made very when coining the term geotome* there are times when a neologism clearly by Bruce Falls in 1982 (cited in Christensen and Radford is needed. Perhaps territoriality needs new terms now? 2018) and Christensen and Radford (2018) also mention location * probably most familiar in the jibe “an ecologist is someone briefly. Refocusing attention on location will help to clarify the who calls a spade a geotome”; a jibe that misses the point, as Taub behavior being discussed and location’s role in relation to other (1995) explains. drivers of territorial responses. There are many examples that illustrate the importance of loca- Address correspondence to P.K. McGregor. peter.mcgregor@cornwall.ac.uk. tion and how it interacts with individual identity in eliciting a territo- rial response. In some instances, location seems to be the overriding Received 31 January 2018; accepted 21 February 2018.; editorial decision factor. For example, song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) respond equally 13 February 2018; Advance Access publication 13 March 2018 strongly to song playback at the centre of the territory regardless of doi:10.1093/beheco/ary025 whether the song is that of a neighbor or a stranger (Stoddard et al. 1991). In other instances, individual identity together with location Editor-in-Chief: Leigh Simmons in relation to the defended territory determine the level of response. For example, great tits (Parus major) and bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) both respond less strongly to playback of a neighbor’s vocalizations REFERENCES from just outside the territory boundary shared with that neighbor than to the same vocalizations played from the opposite (“wrong”) Christensen C, Radford AN. 2018. Dear enemies or nasty neighbours? Causes and consequences of variation in the responses of group-living boundary (Davis 1987; McGregor and Avery 1986; also Stoddard species to territorial intrusions. Behav Ecol. 29:1004–1013. et al. 1991). A context in which individual identity is likely to over- Davis MS. 1987. Acoustically mediated neighbor recognition in the ride location is in repeated interactions between individuals known North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. to each other—emphasizing a time dimension that is implicit in 21:185–190. McGregor PK. 2017. Communication networks and eavesdropping in ani- Neighbor versus Stranger Discrimination (NSD) and Dear Enemy mals. In: Squires L. editor. Reference module in neuroscience and biobe- versus Nasty Neighbour (DE/NN) effects. havioral psychology. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 9780128093245. The examples above feature individuals defending territories McGregor PK, Avery MI. 1986. The unsung songs of great tits (Parus major): rather than groups. However, such individuals are better consid- learning neighbours’ songs for discrimination. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. ered as elements within a communication network (e.g., McGregor 18:311–316. Oliveira RF, McGregor PK, Latruffe C. 1998. Know thine enemy: fighting 2017), a context in which location, individual identity and time fish gather information from observing conspecific interactions. Proc Roy influence territorial responses. Experimental demonstrations of the Soc Lond B. 265:1045–1049. role in territory defense of information gathered by social eaves- Peake TM, Terry AM, McGregor PK, Dabelsteen T. 2002. Do great tits dropping (e.g., Oliveira et al. 1998) and of such information com- assess rivals by combining direct experience with information gathered by eavesdropping? Proc Roy Soc Lond B. 269:1925–1929. bined with direct experience (e.g., Peake et  al. 2002) highlight the Stoddard PK, Beecher MD, Horning CL, Campbell SE. 1991. Recognition importance of repeated interactions between known individuals in of individual neighbors by song in the song sparrow, a species with song subsequent territorial behavior. The similarity between the con- repertoires. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 29:211–215. cepts of communication networks and social networks has obvious Taub DR. 1995. Ecology and the geotome: calling a spade a spade. Bull relevance to group territoriality. Ecol Soc Am. 76:54. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

Behavioral EcologyOxford University Press

Published: Sep 10, 2018

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