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clutch size

Laura Picchi, Guénaël Cabanes, Claire Ricci-Bonot, Maria Cristina Lorenzi
Reciprocity [1] is one of the most controversial evolutionary explanations of cooperation among non-kin [2, 3]. For some authors, cognitive capacity of non-human organisms is limiting, and more parsimonious mechanisms should apply [3-5]; for others, the debate is mainly semantic [2, 6], and empirical evidence can be found in a wide range of taxa [7]. However, while the ability to alternate cooperative behaviors does not settle the reciprocity controversy, the capacity to adjust cooperative behavior to the value of received help could prove decisive...
October 5, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Mirosława Bańbura, Michał Glądalski, Adam Kaliński, Marcin Markowski, Joanna Skwarska, Jarosław Wawrzyniak, Piotr Zieliński, Jerzy Bańbura
Background: Interspecies variation in avian egg shape and size is understandable in terms of adaptation, allometry and phylogeny. Within-species variation in egg properties influences offspring fitness and can be explained by differences in allocation of resources into reproductive components of life history in mulidimensionally variable environments. Egg size is inherently traded-off with clutch size, which may also be true of egg shape in some cases. We investigated long-term variation in egg shape and size between two geographically close populations of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus in relation to clutch size and habitat differences...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Andrea R Norris, Kathryn E H Aitken, Kathy Martin, Stanley Pokorny
Secondary cavity-nesting birds depend on tree cavities for nesting and roosting, but many studies of these birds are conducted using nest boxes. Implementation of effective conservation strategies for cavity-nesting species such as nest-site supplementation requires careful comparisons of fecundity and other vital rates for birds using both natural and artificial nest site types. We compared breeding phenology, clutch and brood sizes, and fledging success of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting in tree cavities and nest boxes during 2001-2003 in British Columbia, Canada...
2018: PloS One
George A Brusch, Benoit Heulin, Dale F DeNardo
Parent-offspring conflicts occur when resources are limited for allocation, and, historically, energy has been the primary currency of focus when examining these trade-offs. Water is a fundamental resource that has received far less consideration for parent-offspring conflicts. Previous research suggests that, when water is limited, reproductive females are compromised in favor of developing embryos. However, these studies limited their assessments to standard metrics such as clutch size and mass. We tested the hypothesis that the mother-offspring conflict over limited water resources leads to finer scale morphological and physiological impacts on the eggs in Children's pythons (Antaresia childreni)...
October 6, 2018: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Hyun-Ju Yoon, Eun-Jin Joo, Dong-Soo Ha, Hyung-Kyu Nam, Jongmin Yoon
Some seabirds commonly use artificially reclaimed lands, which are frequently located next to mainland environments, for breeding. Nest predation risk caused by birds or mammals from the mainland has negative influence on fitness-related costs and distribution of seabirds. Here, we sought to link potential factors, specifically those related to nest predation and nest environment, with breeding performance and colony movements of the Saunders's gull (Saundersilarus saundersi), a vulnerable species, on a large reclaimed area (1350 ha) in Incheon in Republic of Korea...
October 2018: Zoological Science
Thomas M Luhring, Janna M Vavra, Clayton E Cressler, John P DeLong
Although life histories are shaped by temperature and predation, their joint influence on the interdependence of life-history traits is poorly understood. Shifts in one life-history trait often necessitate shifts in another-structured in some cases by trade-offs-leading to differing life-history strategies among environments. The offspring size-number trade-off connects three traits whereby a constant reproductive allocation ( R ) constrains how the number ( O ) and size ( S ) of offspring change. Increasing temperature and size-independent predation decrease size at and time to reproduction which can lower R through reduced time for resource accrual or size-constrained fecundity...
September 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Ming Liu, Dustin R Rubenstein, Siew-Ann Cheong, Sheng-Feng Shen
Adaptive studies of avian clutch size variation across environmental gradients have resulted in what has become known as the fecundity gradient paradox, the observation that clutch size typically decreases with increasing breeding season length along latitudinal gradients, but increases with increasing breeding season length along elevational gradients. These puzzling findings challenge the common belief that organisms should reduce their clutch size in favor of additional nesting attempts as the length of the breeding season increases, an approach typically described as a bet-hedging strategy...
September 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Marlène Gamelon, Jarle Tufto, Anna L K Nilsson, Kurt Jerstad, Ole W Røstad, Nils C Stenseth, Bernt-Erik Saether
In changing environments, phenotypic traits are shaped by numerous agents of selection. The optimal phenotypic value maximizing the fitness of an individual thus varies through time and space with various environmental covariates. Selection may differ between different life cycle stages and act on correlated traits inducing changes in the distribution of several traits simultaneously. Despite increasing interests in environmental sensitivity of phenotypic selection, estimating varying selective optima on various traits throughout the life cycle, while considering (a)biotic factors as potential selective agents has remained challenging...
September 26, 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Sebastian Wacker, Bjørn Mejdell Larsen, Per Jakobsen, Sten Karlsson
Multiple paternity is an important characteristic of the genetic mating system and common across a wide range of taxa. Multiple paternity can increase within-population genotypic diversity, allowing selection to act on a wider spectre of genotypes, and potentially increasing effective population size. While the genetic mating system has been studied in many species with active mating behavior, little is known about multiple paternity in sessile species releasing gametes into the water. In freshwater mussels, males release sperm into the water, while eggs are retained and fertilized inside the female (spermcast mating)...
August 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Ana Lopez-Antia, Manuel E Ortiz-Santaliestra, François Mougeot, Pablo R Camarero, Rafael Mateo
Despite the efforts of the European Commission to implement measures that offset the detrimental effects of agricultural intensification, farmland bird populations continue to decline. Pesticide use has been pointed out as a major cause of decline, with growing concern about those agro-chemicals that act as endocrine disruptors. We report here on the effects of flutriafol, a ubiquitous systemic fungicide used for cereal seed treatment, on the physiology and reproduction of a declining gamebird. Captive red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa; n = 11-13 pairs per treatment) were fed wheat treated with 0%, 20% or 100% of the flutriafol application rate during 25 days in late winter...
December 2018: Environmental Pollution
David López-Idiáquez, Pablo Vergara, Juan Antonio Fargallo, Jesús Martínez-Padilla
The cost of reproduction is a key concept in life-history trade-offs. However, our understanding of the reproductive costs is biased towards measures of reproductive effort obtained before offspring independence. During the post-fledging dependence period (PFDP), it is well known that parents feed and protect their offspring. However, the effort devoted to this reproductive activity has never been considered in the context of of the costs of reproduction. Moreover, the potential fitness benefits and costs for offspring and parents, respectively, of the duration of the PFDP are largely unknown...
2018: PloS One
Mark Chatting, David Smyth, Ibrahim Al-Maslamani, Jeffrey Obbard, Mehsin Al-Ansi, Shafeeq Hamza, Salman Fahad Al-Mohanady, Ali Jassim Al-Kuwari, Christopher D Marshall
Relatively few details of hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting ecology exist within the Arabian Gulf. Moreover, little is known about how their nesting dynamics compare to nesting populations throughout the rest of the world. Due to the extreme environmental setting, nesting ecology of hawksbills in the Arabian Gulf is of significant interest to researchers and conservationists. The current research reports on a long-term tagging and monitoring program undertaken at Fuwairit beach, Qatar. To investigate nesting behavior, site surveys and tagging were employed from 2010 to 2016...
2018: PloS One
Jessica K McGlashan, Michael B Thompson, Fredric J Janzen, Ricky-John Spencer
Environmentally cued hatching allows embryos to alter the time of hatching in relation to environment through phenotypic plasticity. Spatially variable temperatures within shallow nests of many freshwater turtles cause asynchronous development of embryos within clutches, yet neonates still hatch synchronously either by hatching early or via metabolic compensation. Metabolic compensation and changes in circadian rhythms presumably enable embryos to adjust their developmental rates to catch up to more advanced embryos within the nest...
July 2018: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Mélanie Desrosiers, Philippe Usseglio-Polatera, Virginie Archaimbault, Floriane Larras, Ginette Méthot, Bernadette Pinel-Alloul
This study aims to evaluate the anthropogenic pressure in the St. Lawrence River by assessing the relationships between chemical contamination of sediments and benthic community structure with the trait-based approach. Organic and inorganic contaminants as well as other sediment variables (sediment grain size, total organic carbon, nutrients, etc.) and benthic invertebrate assemblages were determined in 59 sites along the river. Biological and ecological traits of taxa were coded, taking into account regional climate and ecosystem conditions...
February 1, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Eva A Hoffman, Timothy B Rowe
Transformations in morphology, physiology and behaviour along the mammalian stem lineage were accompanied by profound modifications to reproduction and growth, including the emergence of a reproductive strategy characterized by high maternal investment in a small number of offspring1,2 and heterochronic changes in early cranial development associated with the enlargement of the brain3 . Because direct fossil evidence of these transitions is lacking, the timing and sequence of these modifications are unknown...
September 2018: Nature
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...
October 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
Coexistence 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 variations in coexistence and its consequences for competition remain poorly understood. 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...
September 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 such as 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 ) in 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 to incubating their clutch...
August 10, 2018: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
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