Skip to main content
A Review of Ecological Determinants of Territoriality Within Vertebrate Species
American Midland Naturalist. (2000)
  • Christine R Maher, University of Southern Maine
  • Dale F. Lott, University of California - Davis

We reviewed papers that compared intraspecific variation in territoriality vs. alternative forms of spatial or behavioral organization with three goals: (1) to discover which ecological variables act as determinants of territorial behavior and how they might act; (2) to extract and evaluate predictions and evidence for determinants of territoriality and (3) to suggest ways for future studies to build upon what the review revealed. Twenty ecological variables have been predicted, correlated with or experimentally demonstrated to relate to territoriality within vertebrate species. These variables include several characteristics of food: quantity, predictability, distribution, quality, renewal rate, type, density and assessibility. Other variables include nonfood resources, population density, habitat features, mates, space, refuges/spawning/home sites, predation pressure, host nests (for brood parasites) and energy availability.

  • vertebrate species,
  • ecological determinants
Publication Date
January, 2000
Citation Information
Christine R Maher and Dale F. Lott. "A Review of Ecological Determinants of Territoriality Within Vertebrate Species" American Midland Naturalist. Vol. 143 Iss. 1 (2000)
Available at: