Covariation between egg size and rearing condition determine offspring quality: an experiment with the Alpine swift

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Version: author
Serval ID
serval:BIB_D0AF5AE06303
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Covariation between egg size and rearing condition determine offspring quality: an experiment with the Alpine swift
Journal
Oecologia
Author(s)
Bize P., Roulin A., Richner H.
ISSN
0029-8549
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2002
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
132
Number
2
Pages
231-234
Language
english
Abstract
A positive correlation between egg size, early growth and nestling survival has been frequently reported in the ornithological literature. Albeit of interest, most of these studies did not determine whether the relationship between egg size, early growth and nestling survival was confounded by the quality of rearing conditions. However, this is of importance in order to assess the extent to which a life-history trait like egg size causally affects fitness. In a colony of the alpine swift Apus melba, we cross-fostered complete clutches between nests to determine the relative contribution of egg size and rearing condition on nestling growth and survival. In foster nests, nestlings that hatched out of larger eggs were significantly heavier at birth and at the age of 10 days; at 25 days, however, the relationship was no longer significant. The likelihood of a chick surviving from birth to 25 days of age was not correlated with its original egg size, but with the size of the eggs laid by its foster parents. This experiment therefore lends support to the hypothesis that in the alpine swift the relationship between egg size and nestling growth and survival is mainly due to a covariation between egg size and parental care rather than to a direct contribution of egg size.
Keywords
Apus melba, coloniality, cross-fostering experiment, egg volume, parental quality
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Create date
24/01/2008 17:42
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:50
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