Reduction in site fidelity with smaller spatial scale may suggest scale-dependent information use
Animals change the strategy that they use to select breeding sites at the spatial scales of habitat, patch, and microhabitat. In this regard, breeding site fidelity is expected to vary according to environmental predictability, which, in turn, is expected to differ between each spatial scale. However, whether or not animals change their degree of site fidelity at different spatial scales remains unclear. We captured and released males of the terrestrial frog Pseudophryne bibronii into alternative patches within a breeding habitat and determined the extent to which site fidelity influenced individual nest-site choice. We found that males tended to return to their original patch rather than resettle in an alternative patch. However, males were unlikely to return to their original nest sites within the patch. We suggest that site fidelity in this species may be scale dependent because information from previous breeding seasons can predict the quality of patches, but not nest sites. This behavioral variation is consistent with a hypothetical relationship between spatial scale and environmental predictability, which may have important implications for decision-making processes that extend over multiple spatial scales.
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