Age-dependent reproductive costs and the role of breeding skills in the Collared flycatcher
2007 (English)In: Acta Zoologica (Stockholm), ISSN 0001-7272, E-ISSN 1463-6395, Vol. 88, no 2, 95-100 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study addressed whether there are any age-related differences in reproductive costs. Of especial interest was whether young individuals increased their reproductive effort, and thereby their reproductive cost, as much as older birds when brood size was enlarged. To address these questions, a brood-size manipulation experiment with reciprocal cross-fostering of nestlings of young and middle-aged female Collared flycatchers, Ficedula albicollis, was performed on the Swedish island of Gotland. Nestlings' body mass, tarsus length and survival were recorded to estimate the parental ability and parental effort of the experimental female birds. Female survival and clutch size were recorded in the following years to estimate reproductive costs. We found that middle-aged female flycatchers coped better with enlarged broods than younger females or invested more in reproduction. In the following year, young female birds that had raised enlarged broods laid smaller clutches than the females from all the other experimental groups. This result shows that the young female birds pay higher reproductive costs than the middle-aged females. Both young and middle-aged female flycatchers seemed to increase their reproductive effort when brood size was increased. However, such an increase resulted in higher reproductive costs for the young females. The difference in reproductive costs between birds of different ages is most likely a result of insufficient breeding skills of the young individuals.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 88, no 2, 95-100 p.
breeding experience, brood size manipulation, clutch size, reproductive effort optimization, tarsus length
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95692DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6395.2007.00256.xISI: 000245505600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95692DiVA: diva2:170003