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The effect of egg size and habitat on starling nestling growth and survival

Smith, Henrik G. LU and Bruun, Måns LU (1998) In Oecologia 115(1-2). p.59-63
Abstract
In spite of the fact that hatchling size and energy reserves in birds are affected by egg size, many studies have failed to find an effect of egg size on offspring fitness. One possibility is that this is because they have been performed in areas with high food availability and that effects of egg size on offspring fitness are most apparent in areas of low food availability. To investigate this, egg size, offspring mass and survival of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were measured in an agricultural landscape with a low but variable amount of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat of parent starlings. Offspring mass was related to egg size, but egg size explained a declining proportion of the variation in nestling mean mass as... (More)
In spite of the fact that hatchling size and energy reserves in birds are affected by egg size, many studies have failed to find an effect of egg size on offspring fitness. One possibility is that this is because they have been performed in areas with high food availability and that effects of egg size on offspring fitness are most apparent in areas of low food availability. To investigate this, egg size, offspring mass and survival of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were measured in an agricultural landscape with a low but variable amount of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat of parent starlings. Offspring mass was related to egg size, but egg size explained a declining proportion of the variation in nestling mean mass as nestlings grew older. Offspring survival during the early, but not during the late nestling period was related to egg size. Throughout the nestling period, survival was related to the mass of the nestlings. It is suggested that the effect of egg size on offspring survival is through the effect of egg size on offspring mass, this effect declining as offspring grow older. Offspring survival during the early part of the nestling period was related to egg size when availability of pasture was low, but not when it was high. However, the interaction was not significant. Selection for larger egg size is discussed in relation to the structuring of starling populations into sources and sinks. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Chick survival , Chick mass, Food availability, European starling, Sturnus vulgaris
in
Oecologia
volume
115
issue
1-2
pages
59 - 63
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:0031813331
ISSN
0029-8519
DOI
10.1007/s004420050491
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
db5ebe17-5d6b-476b-8d0e-efd3069ce95a
date added to LUP
2017-07-11 10:38:44
date last changed
2017-08-11 11:12:45
@article{db5ebe17-5d6b-476b-8d0e-efd3069ce95a,
  abstract     = {In spite of the fact that hatchling size and energy reserves in birds are affected by egg size, many studies have failed to find an effect of egg size on offspring fitness. One possibility is that this is because they have been performed in areas with high food availability and that effects of egg size on offspring fitness are most apparent in areas of low food availability. To investigate this, egg size, offspring mass and survival of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were measured in an agricultural landscape with a low but variable amount of pasture, the preferred foraging habitat of parent starlings. Offspring mass was related to egg size, but egg size explained a declining proportion of the variation in nestling mean mass as nestlings grew older. Offspring survival during the early, but not during the late nestling period was related to egg size. Throughout the nestling period, survival was related to the mass of the nestlings. It is suggested that the effect of egg size on offspring survival is through the effect of egg size on offspring mass, this effect declining as offspring grow older. Offspring survival during the early part of the nestling period was related to egg size when availability of pasture was low, but not when it was high. However, the interaction was not significant. Selection for larger egg size is discussed in relation to the structuring of starling populations into sources and sinks.},
  author       = {Smith, Henrik G. and Bruun, Måns},
  issn         = {0029-8519},
  keyword      = {Chick survival ,Chick mass,Food availability,European starling,Sturnus vulgaris},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {59--63},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {The effect of egg size and habitat on starling nestling growth and survival},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s004420050491},
  volume       = {115},
  year         = {1998},
}