Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Christine R. MaherEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_725-1



Territoriality refers to maintenance of a territory and thus includes territorial behavior, at the individual level, and spatial patterns that result from those individual interactions, at the population level (Hinsch and Komdeur 2017). However, territory may be defined conceptually in many ways (Maher and Lott 1995). The most common conceptual definitions can be grouped into one of three categories, and they illustrate the difference in emphasis between ecological and behavioral aspects of territoriality: defended area, exclusive area, and site-specific dominance. The oldest definition, defense (Howard 1920), reflects a focus on interactions that produce the outcome, whereas use of an exclusive area (Pitelka 1959) highlights the outcome rather than the process. A researcher’s choice of definitions often reflects the taxonomic group and habits of species being studied (Maher and Lott 1995). Thus, scientists studying more easily observed...


Dear Enemy Effect Territory Owners Interspecific Territoriality Florida Scrub Jay Territoriality Increases 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern MainePortlandUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Leuchtenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute FarroupilhaPanambiBrasil