Editor's Choice NovemberSubmitted by editor on 29 November 2016.
Dear Oikos-followers. It has been a long time since we updated you on the papers that were selected as editor’s choice.
In November, editor’s choices were two research papers. Jakub Szymkowiak tested the intriguing hypothesis that birds may use specific social information from conspecifics to make informed decisions on settlement (here). They found that wood warblers copied breeding-site choices of poor quality conspecifics and while avoiding settlement near those individual of good quality. As such, the study suggests that wood warbles first assess social cues to avoid environments where expected local competition is high. Insights in the evolution and occurrence of informed habitat selection strategies are eventually essential to understand complex spatial dynamics and population dynamics in heterogeneous environments.
The paper by Andrew Flick and colleagues on how pathogen infections of prey affect their relationship with predators (here) The authors tested by meta-analysis whether prey that suffered from parasite infections affect potential predator population dynamics by either impacting energetic balances or host choice. They therefore compiled research from the field of pest biocontrol and overall found striking effects on prey-life history components, depending on the prey functional type (i.e. true predators versus parasitoids). This research thus demonstrates that communities containing parasitoids and pathogens may should rarely exhibit intraguild predation.
Watch out for our editor’s choices for the December issue!