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clutch size

Stefano Podofillini, Jacopo G Cecere, Matteo Griggio, Andrea Curcio, Enrico L De Capua, Egidio Fulco, Simone Pirrello, Nicola Saino, Lorenzo Serra, Matteo Visceglia, Diego Rubolini
The quality of a breeding site may have major fitness consequences. A fundamental step to understanding the process of nest-site selection is the identification of the information individuals use to choose high-quality nest sites. For secondary cavity-nesting bird species that do not add nest lining material, organic remains (faeces, pellets) accumulated inside nest cavities during previous breeding events may be a cue for high-quality nest-sites, as they contain information about past successful breeding and may improve thermal insulation of eggs during incubation...
December 2018: Current Zoology
Bao-Jun Sun, Yang Wang, Yong Wang, Hong-Liang Lu, Wei-Guo Du
Parental effects may produce adaptive or maladaptive plasticity that either facilitates persistence or increases the extinction risk of species and populations in a changing climate. However, empirical evidence of transgenerational adaptive plastic responses to climate change is still scarce. Here we conducted thermal manipulation experiments with a factorial design in a Chinese lacertid lizard ( Takydromus septentrionalis ) to identify the fitness consequences of parental effects in response to climate warming...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Guadalupe López Juri, Margarita Chiaraviglio, Gabriela Cardozo
BACKGROUND: Comparing sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in the light of the phylogenetic hypothesis may help to understand the phenotypic evolution associated with sexual selection (size of whole body and of reproduction-related body parts). Within a macroevolutionary framework, we evaluated the association between the evolution of SSD and the evolution of reproduction-related phenotypic traits, and whether this association has favored female fecundity, considering also variations according to reproductive modes...
December 7, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
T L F Leung, J Koprivnikar
1.Understanding how parasite communities are assembled, and the factors that influence their richness, can improve our knowledge of parasite-host interactions and help to predict the spread of infectious diseases. Previous comparative analyses have found significant influences of host ecology and life history, but focused on a few select host taxa. 2.Host diet and habitat use play key roles in the acquisition of parasitic helminths as many are trophically-transmitted, making these attributes potentially key indicators of infection risk...
December 3, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Ji-Young Lee, Jin-Young Park, Incheol Kim, Woo-Yuel Kim, Ha-Cheol Sung
There is much controversy over the species and subspecies status of the white wagtail complex, which is further compounded by interbreeding between two subspecies, the Amur Wagtail ( Motacilla alba leucopsis ) and the Black-backed Wagtail ( M. a. lugens ). This study presents preliminary information on the breeding biology of both subspecies on Ulleung Island, Korea, over two breeding seasons (2012-2013). Mixed pairs of the two subspecies were common on this island, with almost 50% of all pairs being heterotypic or intermediate pairs; however, assortative mating was still present...
2018: Animal Cells and Systems
Alexander K Maytin, Isaac Y Ligocki
Organisms living at high densities may be forced to engage in conflict for access to resources such as food or shelter. When these resources are limited, the outcome of interactions may have important fitness implications. We investigated the behavioural interactions of the invasive Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in a shelter-limited environment. Round Goby are benthic fish that utilize rocky shelters for predator avoidance and as reproductive sites in which territorial males defend clutches of eggs. Previous work on this and other species has shown that larger individuals have greater resource holding potential in dyadic interactions...
November 13, 2018: Behavioural Processes
James J Roper, André M X Lima, Angélica M K Uejima
Food limitation may interact with nest predation and influence nesting patterns, such as breeding season length and renesting intervals. If so, reproductive effort should change with food availability. Thus, when food is limited, birds should have fewer attempts and shorter seasons than when food is not limiting. Here we experimentally test that increased food availability results in increased reproductive effort in a fragmented landscape in the Variable Antshrike ( Thamnophilus caerulescens ) in southern Brazil...
2018: PeerJ
Katja Heubel
Mating decisions can be affected by intrasexual competition and sensitive to operational sex-ratio (OSR) changes in the population. Conceptually, it is assumed that both male and female mate-competition may interfere with female reproductive decisions. Experimentally, however, the focus has been on the effect of male competition on mate choice. In many species with paternal care as in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps , the OSR is often female-biased and female mate-competition for access to available nesting males occurs...
June 2018: Current Zoology
Tao Liang, Lu Zhou, Wenfeng He, Lirong Xiao, Lei Shi
Background: Egg size and clutch size are key life history traits. During the breeding period, it is possible for females to increase their reproductive output either by increasing the number of eggs if the optimal egg size (OES) is maintained, or by increasing the allocation of energy to each egg. However, the strategies adopted are often influenced by animals' morphology and environment. Methods: Here, we examined variation in female morphological and reproductive traits, tested for trade-offs between egg size and clutch size, and evaluated the relationship between egg size and female morphology in three populations of Phrynocephalus helioscopus ...
2018: PeerJ
Karen L Wiebe
Age-related improvement in reproductive performance is widespread in vertebrates and constraints at young ages are a common cause. The sex that invests energetically more in reproduction, typically the female, is predicted to show stronger age-related performance but the effect of the male's age on reproduction has often been ignored. I studied age-related reproduction of both sexes in northern flickers, in which males invest more parental care than females, predicting that the effect of age would be stronger in males than in females...
December 2018: Oecologia
John Eme, Cassidy J Cooper, Andrew Alvo, Juan Vasquez, Sara Muhtaseb, Susan Rayman, Thomas Schmoyer, Ruth M Elsey
Allometric equations represent relationships between morphological/physiological traits and body mass Y = aMb , where Y is the trait, a is elevation, b is the exponent describing the shape of the line, and M is body mass. We measured visceral organ masses in hatchling alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from five clutches from approximately 45 to 500 g wet body mass. The interaction between initial egg mass and clutch identity was significant for initial hatchling mass, but only egg mass, not clutch, had a significant effect on initial snout-vent and head length...
October 26, 2018: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Torben Lode, Jan Heuschele, Tom Andersen, Josefin Titelman, Ketil Hylland, Katrine Borgå
To examine whether natural stressors like predation risk affect responses to anthropogenic contaminants, we exposed nauplii of the copepod Tigriopus brevicornis to chemical cues from fish (kairomones) and copper (Cu). We tested effects of these treatments, singly and combined, on copepod age and size at maturity, and development stage sensitivity, while controlling for effects of genetic heterogeneity (clutch identity). Predation risk, Cu and clutch identity interacted in their effect on development time. Predation risk alone had minor effects, but potentiated Cu toxicity in the combined treatment by doubling the delay in age at maturity, as compared to Cu exposure alone...
October 31, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
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 22, 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...
November 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
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