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The trade-off between offspring number and quality in the great tit Parus major

  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Hans Källander
  • Jan-Åke Nilsson
Publishing year: 1989
Language: English
Pages: 383-401
Publication/Series: Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume: 58
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Abstract english

(1) Trade-offs between brood size and offspring growth and survival were manipulating the size of 221 great tit Parus major L. broods between 1983 (2) Nestling mass, wing length and tarsus length were inversely related to Hatching date also affected nestling growth, but its effect differed between Intrabrood variability in nestling size increased with brood size. (3) Nestling survival was inversely related to brood size. Small nestlings suffered mortality than large ones. The difference in nestling survival rate between categories was too small to equalize their productivity. (4) Fledgling survival to the autumn and to the following breeding season inversely related to brood size; fledglings from reduced broods survived better from control broods, which in turn survived better than fledglings from enlarged This resulted in the most productive category being the control broods. The fledglings increased with their size as nestlings and decreased with their hatching (5) The sex-ratio among independent fledglings was affected by brood size tion; proportionally more males survived in enlarged than in reduced broods. (6) Dispersal distance of juveniles was not affected by brood size, size hatching date, whereas it was affected by sex. The effects of starvation competition on fledgling survival and dispersal


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 1365-2656
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56




Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden