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Experimental reduction of incubation temperature affects both nestling and adult blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus

Nilsson, Johan LU ; Stjernman, Martin LU and Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU (2008) In Journal of Avian Biology 39(5). p.553-559
Abstract
Incubation was for a long time considered to be a period of decreased activity and low cost for parents. It was therefore ignored as a potential factor affecting life-history trade-offs in birds. Lately this view has started to change, and studies now show that there might be considerable costs connected to incubation. We experimentally reduced the nest temperature during incubation in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus, thus increasing the energetic cost of incubation, to test the importance of incubation as a component of reproductive costs and for nestling quality. While most other studies use brood size manipulation to manipulate reproductive costs, we were able to separate treatment effects acting during the incubation period from those... (More)
Incubation was for a long time considered to be a period of decreased activity and low cost for parents. It was therefore ignored as a potential factor affecting life-history trade-offs in birds. Lately this view has started to change, and studies now show that there might be considerable costs connected to incubation. We experimentally reduced the nest temperature during incubation in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus, thus increasing the energetic cost of incubation, to test the importance of incubation as a component of reproductive costs and for nestling quality. While most other studies use brood size manipulation to manipulate reproductive costs, we were able to separate treatment effects acting during the incubation period from those acting on later reproductive performance by applying a cross-foster design. We were also able to isolate the effects of decreased incubation temperature on the nestlings from treatment effects acting on incubating females. We found no experimental effect on the length of the incubation period or on hatching success. The lower temperature during incubation, however, caused lower growth rates in nestlings and reduced chick rearing capacity in adults. We conclude that incubation is a costly period, with the potential to affect both the trade-off between current and future reproduction and the one between parental effort and offspring quality within the current breeding attempt. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
39
issue
5
pages
553 - 559
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000259152700013
  • scopus:51749084251
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/j.2008.0908-8857.04199.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2f8c0f41-8e10-4bb9-9af6-be59002af431 (old id 1246956)
date added to LUP
2008-11-20 11:58:08
date last changed
2017-08-13 03:32:22
@article{2f8c0f41-8e10-4bb9-9af6-be59002af431,
  abstract     = {Incubation was for a long time considered to be a period of decreased activity and low cost for parents. It was therefore ignored as a potential factor affecting life-history trade-offs in birds. Lately this view has started to change, and studies now show that there might be considerable costs connected to incubation. We experimentally reduced the nest temperature during incubation in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus, thus increasing the energetic cost of incubation, to test the importance of incubation as a component of reproductive costs and for nestling quality. While most other studies use brood size manipulation to manipulate reproductive costs, we were able to separate treatment effects acting during the incubation period from those acting on later reproductive performance by applying a cross-foster design. We were also able to isolate the effects of decreased incubation temperature on the nestlings from treatment effects acting on incubating females. We found no experimental effect on the length of the incubation period or on hatching success. The lower temperature during incubation, however, caused lower growth rates in nestlings and reduced chick rearing capacity in adults. We conclude that incubation is a costly period, with the potential to affect both the trade-off between current and future reproduction and the one between parental effort and offspring quality within the current breeding attempt.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Johan and Stjernman, Martin and Nilsson, Jan-Åke},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {553--559},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Experimental reduction of incubation temperature affects both nestling and adult blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2008.0908-8857.04199.x},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2008},
}