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clutch size

Amy Kolb, Friedhelm Hildebrandt, Christian Lawrence
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have proven their efficiency as an animal model for genetics and development, but their nutrition and housing requirements continue to elude researchers. Diet and housing density were predicted to affect weight change and reproductive success in 120 days postfertilization (dpf) zebrafish, and growth performance of their progeny. Fish were fed one of four diets, each utilizing a different primary protein source (fish meal [Zeigler™], algae, or insect), while being housed 3.3 or 6.6 fish/L for 3 weeks...
August 13, 2018: Zebrafish
Anders Pape Møller, Javier Balbontín, André A Dhondt, Vladimir Remeš, Frank Adriaensen, Clotilde Biard, Jordi Camprodon, Mariusz Cichoń, Blandine Doligez, Anna Dubiec, Marcel Eens, Tapio Eeva, Anne E Goodenough, Andrew G Gosler, Lars Gustafsson, Philipp Heeb, Shelley A Hinsley, Staffan Jacob, Rimvydas Juškaitis, Toni Laaksonen, Bernard Leclercq, Bruno Massa, Tomasz D Mazgajski, Ruedi G Nager, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Sven G Nilsson, Ana C Norte, Rianne Pinxten, Hugo Robles, Tapio Solonen, Alberto Sorace, Arie J van Noordwijk, Marcel M Lambrechts
1.Co-existence between great tits Parus major and blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus, but also other hole nesting taxa, constitutes a classic example of species co-occurrence resulting in potential interference and exploitation competition for food and for breeding and roosting sites. However, the spatial and temporal variation in co-existence and its consequences for competition remain poorly understood. 2.We used an extensive database on reproduction in nest boxes by great and blue tits based on 87 study plots across Europe and Northern Africa during 1957-2012 for a total of 19,075 great tit and 16,729 blue tit clutches to assess correlative evidence for a relationship between laying date and clutch size, respectively, and density consistent with effects of intraspecific and interspecific competition...
August 12, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
A Wolc, T Jankowski, J Arango, P Settar, J E Fulton, N P O'Sullivan, J C M Dekkers
Clutch traits were proposed as a more detailed description of egg-laying patterns than simple total egg production. In this study, egg production of 23,809 Rhode Island Red (RIR) and 22,210 White Leghorn (WL) hens was described in terms of number of clutches, average and maximum clutch size, age at first egg, total saleable egg production, and percentage of egg defects. Genetic parameters were estimated using a six-trait animal model. Of the phenotyped birds, 1433 RIR hens and 1515 WL hens were genotyped with line specific 50K Affymetrix Axiom single nucleotide polymorphism chips to perform genome-wide association analyses...
August 8, 2018: Poultry Science
Kai Chen, Mengjuan Wu, Ying Zhang, Fang Zhang, Huan Wang, Juanjuan Liang, Peng Yan, En Li, Liang Yao, Jinwang Xu, Xiaobing Wu
The purpose of this study was to study the reproductive characteristics of the Nile crocodile and Siamese crocodiles after introduction into China since the time this occurred near the end of the last century. The data for the eggs and young crocodiles (recently hatched crocodiles) of two introduced species were collected at a Sanya crocodile breeding farm in Hainan. The characteristic variables of crocodile eggs were statistically analyzed, and the results indicated that: egg mass of the Nile and Siamese crocodile was significantly correlated with the egg length and width...
July 29, 2018: Animal Reproduction Science
Pierre Blévin, Scott A Shaffer, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Baptiste Picard, Dorte Herzke, Børge Moe, Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes, Olivier Chastel
In birds, incubation-related behaviors and brood patch formation are influenced by hormonal regulation like prolactin secretion. Brood patch provides efficient heat transfer between the incubating parent and the developing embryo in the egg. Importantly, several environmental contaminants are already known to have adverse effects on avian reproduction. However, relatively little is known about the effect of contaminants on incubation temperature (Tinc ) for wild birds. By using temperature thermistors placed into artificial eggs, we investigated whether the most contaminated parent birds are less able to provide appropriate egg warming and thus less committed in incubating their clutch...
August 10, 2018: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Melissa A Graham, Ryan L Earley, John A Baker, Susan A Foster
Hormones play a prominent role in animal development, mediating the expression of traits and coordinating phenotypic responses to the environment. Their role as physiological integrators has implications for how populations respond to natural selection and can impact the speed and direction of evolutionary change. However, many emerging and established fish models with the potential to be ecologically or evolutionarily informative are small-bodied, making hormone sampling through traditional methods (whole-body or plasma) lethal or highly disruptive...
August 2, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Malte Andersson, Matti Åhlund, Peter Waldeck
Conspecific brood parasitism (CBP) is a reproductive tactic in which parasitic females lay eggs in nests of other females of the same species that then raise the joint brood. Parasites benefit by increased reproduction, without costs of parental care for the parasitic eggs. CBP occurs in many egg-laying animals, among birds most often in species with large clutches and self-feeding young: two major factors facilitating successful parasitism. CBP is particularly common in waterfowl (Anatidae), a group with female-biased natal philopatry and locally related females...
August 2, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Katharine R Studholme, J Mark Hipfner, L Michael Romero, Brenna M Gormally, Sara J Iverson, Glenn T Crossin
The measurement of corticosterone levels in feathers (fCort) is gaining recognition as an effective means for describing links between stages of the annual cycle in birds. Many seabirds are especially good models for exploring these links, or carryover effects, due to their migratory behavior and reproductive investment in a single-egg clutch. Here, we measure fCort in Cassin's auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breast feathers at two colonies in British Columbia during 2011, a year of favorable oceanographic conditions, and examine its relationship with egg size...
July 26, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
George A Brusch, Olivier Lourdais, Brittany Kaminsky, Dale F DeNardo
The use of fat to support the energy needs of reproduction (i.e. capital breeding) has been studied in a diversity of taxa. However, despite reproductive output (i.e. young or eggs) being approximately 70% water, little is known about the availability of internal resources to accommodate the hydric demands of reproduction. Recent research suggests that dehydration increases the catabolism of muscle as a means of maintaining water balance. Accordingly, we investigated the interactive effects of reproductive investment and water deprivation on catabolism and reproductive output in female Children's pythons ( Antaresia childreni )...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Aude E Caizergues, Arnaud Grégoire, Anne Charmantier
Increasing urbanization offers a unique opportunity to study adaptive responses to rapid environmental change. Numerous studies have demonstrated phenotypic divergence between urban and rural organisms. However, comparing the direction and magnitude of natural selection between these environments has rarely been attempted. Using seven years of monitoring of great tits ( Parus major ) breeding in nest-boxes across the city of Montpellier and in a nearby oak forest, we find phenotypic divergence in four morphological and two life-history traits between urban and forest birds...
July 11, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Martha Thieme Petersen, Isabella Dias da Silveira, Aline Tátila-Ferreira, Mariana Rocha David, Thais Chouin-Carneiro, Liesbeth Van den Wouwer, Louis Maes, Rafael Maciel-de-Freitas
The impact of senescence and pathogen infection on Aedes aegypti life-history traits remains poorly understood. This laboratory study focused on the impact of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and the age of first blood intake on blood meal and clutch sizes, and more importantly on the egg production ratio per μL of blood. Three groups of ZIKV-infected and uninfected Ae. aegypti females that received their first blood meal at 7 (young feeders), 14 (mature feeders) and 21 days old (old feeders) were monitored daily for survival and received a blood meal free of ZIKV once a week...
2018: PloS One
Arnout Francis Grégoir, Eli Samuel Joachim Thoré, Charlotte Philippe, Tom Pinceel, Luc Brendonck, Bram Vanschoenwinkel
Both constitutive and inducible antipredator strategies are ubiquitous in nature and serve to maximize fitness under a predation threat. Inducible strategies may be favored over constitutive defenses depending on their relative cost and benefit and temporal variability in predator presence. In African temporary ponds, annual killifish of the genus Nothobranchius are variably exposed to predators, depending on whether larger fish invade their habitat from nearby rivers during floods. Nonetheless, potential plastic responses to predation risk are poorly known...
July 2018: Ecology and Evolution
K Nicole White, Betsie B Rothermel, Kelly R Zamudio, Tracey D Tuberville
In many vertebrates, body size is an important driver of variation in male reproductive success. Larger, more fit individuals are more likely to dominate mating opportunities, skewing siring success and resulting in lower effective population sizes and genetic diversity. The mating system of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) has been characterized as both female-defense and scramble-competition polygyny. Mating systems are typically not fixed and can be influenced by factors such as population density, demographic structure, and environmental conditions; however, most populations will have a predominant strategy that results from local conditions...
July 19, 2018: Journal of Heredity
Patricia L M Lee, Gail Schofield, Rebecca I Haughey, Antonios D Mazaris, Graeme C Hays
Why females would mate with multiple partners and have multiple fathers for clutches or litters is a long-standing enigma. There is a broad dichotomy in hypotheses ranging from polyandry having benefits to simply being an unavoidable consequence of a high incidence of male-female encounters. If females simply give in to mating when it is too costly to avoid being harassed by males (convenience polyandry), then there should be a higher rate of mating as density increases. However, if females actively seek males because they benefit from multiple mating, then mating frequency, and consequently the incidence of multiple paternity of clutches, should be high throughout...
2018: Advances in Marine Biology
Hannah J White, Ian W Montgomery, Jack J Lennon
Changes in species distributions through local extinction and colonization events are a major consequence of climate change. The mechanisms underlying these processes, however, are yet to be fully understood. We investigate the effects of climatic suitability and local rarity on local extinction and colonization of British birds. We test the hypothesis that local extinction and colonization on decadal scales are driven by both climatic suitability and the prevalence of the species within an area and that the balance between these two is affected by species traits...
July 14, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
D A S Owen, M J Sheriff, H I Engler, T Langkilde
Multigenerational effects can have important and sex-dependent effects on offspring. Sex allocation theory predicts that females should differentially invest in sons and daughters depending on sex-specific fitness returns and costs of investment. Maternal stress-relevant (glucocorticoid) hormones may be one mechanism driving this effect. We investigated how maternal stress hormones differentially affected sons and daughters by manipulating levels of the glucocorticoid, corticosterone (CORT), in gravid female eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) and quantifying reproductive investment and sex ratio of resulting clutches, and the mass, snout-vent length, and body condition of sons versus daughters at hatching...
July 10, 2018: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Christopher M Heckscher
The breeding season phenology of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbirds is constrained by subsequent seasons resulting in single-brooded behavior (one successful clutch per year) in some species. Early cessation of the nesting season prior to an active hurricane season will allow for behavioral plasticity during a physiologically challenging migration. Hurricane activity shows a high degree of inter-annual variability. I show that a single-brooded Nearctic-breeding species' (Catharus fuscescens) nesting phenology and clutch size are significant predictors of Accumulated Cyclone Energy...
July 2, 2018: Scientific Reports
Liu Lin, Qingru Hu, Jonathan J Fong, Jiangbo Yang, Zhongdong Chen, Feiyu Zhou, Jichao Wang, Fanrong Xiao, Haitao Shi
The Beal's-eyed turtle ( Sacalia bealei ) is endemic to southeastern China and endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Knowledge of S. bealei ecology is lacking and this study provides baseline information of its reproduction in a natural environment. We studied the reproductive ecology of S. bealei using X-ray, spool-and-line tracking, and direct observation. Six nesting females were successfully tracked and their nesting behaviors are documented in detail. Females produced a mean clutch size of 2.2 eggs (range 1-3)...
2018: PeerJ
William O'Shea, John O'Halloran, John L Quinn
Understanding how resource use and life history variation influence a population's response to modified, fragmented landscapes is a major challenge for ecologists. We investigated the phenology, life history decisions and provisioning behaviour of a generalist passerine-the great tit-across a heavily managed woodland landscape. Contrary to most previous studies on this species, reproductive investment and success were lower in deciduous than in coniferous woodland fragments. This could not be explained by differences in provisioning behaviour; instead population density was considerably higher in deciduous woodlands, suggesting birds did not follow an ideal free distribution...
June 30, 2018: Oecologia
Tracy I Mulholland, Danielle M Ferraro, Kelley C Boland, Kathleen N Ivey, My-Lan Le, Carl A LaRiccia, John M Vigianelli, Clinton D Francis
Artificial nest boxes are critical nesting sites for secondary cavity-nesting birds; however, they are often placed near roadways and in urban areas that experience noise pollution and other human-caused stressors. Recent correlative studies document both negative and positive influences of noise pollution on reproductive success. Additionally, observational studies have not determined which stage of the breeding process is most vulnerable to noise pollution- settlement, incubation, and/or provisioning. Here, we controlled for possible effects from non-random settlement and eliminated potential effects of roadways, such as collisions and chemical and light pollution, by experimentally introducing traffic noise into nest boxes after clutch initiation in two secondary-cavity nesting bird species...
June 26, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
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