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Time-dependent reproductive decisions in the blue tit

Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU (2000) In Oikos 88(2). p.351-361
Abstract
Many breeding attempts in birds do not result in any fledged young due to predation on eggs or young. Consequently, the influence of time constraints on reproductive decisions are integrated parts of the reproductive behaviour of birds breeding within short, seasonal climate zones. In this study. I mimicked nest predation by removing blue tit (Parus caeruleus) clutches shortly after completion. Around 75% of the removed clutches were followed by a repeat clutch. Females producing their first clutch early in the season and females with an early onset of incubation in the laying sequence (an indication of high parental or territory quality) were most likely to initiate a repeat clutch. A trade-off between the benefits of a repeat clutch and... (More)
Many breeding attempts in birds do not result in any fledged young due to predation on eggs or young. Consequently, the influence of time constraints on reproductive decisions are integrated parts of the reproductive behaviour of birds breeding within short, seasonal climate zones. In this study. I mimicked nest predation by removing blue tit (Parus caeruleus) clutches shortly after completion. Around 75% of the removed clutches were followed by a repeat clutch. Females producing their first clutch early in the season and females with an early onset of incubation in the laying sequence (an indication of high parental or territory quality) were most likely to initiate a repeat clutch. A trade-off between the benefits of a repeat clutch and survival likely stopped late Females in bad condition from investing more in the current reproductive season. Females producing a repeat clutch laid fewer eggs, had an earlier onset of incubation in the laying sequence and produced larger eggs than they did when producing their original first clutch. Eggs produced after the onset of incubation were especially large in the repeat clutches. Since food availability was presumably higher when the female produced her repeat clutch compared with her first clutch, females made a strategical decision when reducing clutch size, whereas onset of incubation and egg size may have been energetically constrained when producing the first clutch. Females that produced a relatively large clutch, had a relatively early onset of incubation, and laid relatively large eggs in their first clutch also did so when producing a repeat clutch, indicating that some of the variation in breeding parameters are due to differences in parental or territory quality. Differences between years in the temperature-dependent development rate of caterpillars seem to affect the time constraints on breeding. A year with a predicted early seasonal decline in caterpillars resulted in short intervals between removal and relaying, small clutches and an early onset of incubation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oikos
volume
88
issue
2
pages
351 - 361
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:0034005378
ISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.880214.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f1b1b111-aa55-40df-bde9-7517009ef0b3 (old id 146071)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 10:45:08
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:41:23
@article{f1b1b111-aa55-40df-bde9-7517009ef0b3,
  abstract     = {Many breeding attempts in birds do not result in any fledged young due to predation on eggs or young. Consequently, the influence of time constraints on reproductive decisions are integrated parts of the reproductive behaviour of birds breeding within short, seasonal climate zones. In this study. I mimicked nest predation by removing blue tit (Parus caeruleus) clutches shortly after completion. Around 75% of the removed clutches were followed by a repeat clutch. Females producing their first clutch early in the season and females with an early onset of incubation in the laying sequence (an indication of high parental or territory quality) were most likely to initiate a repeat clutch. A trade-off between the benefits of a repeat clutch and survival likely stopped late Females in bad condition from investing more in the current reproductive season. Females producing a repeat clutch laid fewer eggs, had an earlier onset of incubation in the laying sequence and produced larger eggs than they did when producing their original first clutch. Eggs produced after the onset of incubation were especially large in the repeat clutches. Since food availability was presumably higher when the female produced her repeat clutch compared with her first clutch, females made a strategical decision when reducing clutch size, whereas onset of incubation and egg size may have been energetically constrained when producing the first clutch. Females that produced a relatively large clutch, had a relatively early onset of incubation, and laid relatively large eggs in their first clutch also did so when producing a repeat clutch, indicating that some of the variation in breeding parameters are due to differences in parental or territory quality. Differences between years in the temperature-dependent development rate of caterpillars seem to affect the time constraints on breeding. A year with a predicted early seasonal decline in caterpillars resulted in short intervals between removal and relaying, small clutches and an early onset of incubation.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Jan-Åke},
  issn         = {1600-0706},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {351--361},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {Time-dependent reproductive decisions in the blue tit},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.880214.x},
  volume       = {88},
  year         = {2000},
}