Based on our observations and those of others from the literature, we construct a graphical model of habitat use in territorial species at high densities relative to optimal habitat availability. This model ignores differences in abundance among habitats, and, together with other models of habitat use, predicts that there should be greater stability (lower turnover rates) among individuals occupying optimal habitat than among those in suboptimal habitat(s). Future studies assessing quality among habitats might take advantage of this by comparing individual turnover rates among habitat types using standard mark-recapture methodology. As an illustrative example, we present a case in wintering wood thrushes ( Catharus mustelinus ; Muscicapidae: Turdinae) in which relative abundance and habitat quality were inversely related. Many individuals of this nearctic-neotropic migrant species hold nonbreeding territories in the seemingly crowded rainforest of southern Veracruz, Mexico.
Oecologia – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 1995
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