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The significance of cluch overlap in the great tit Parus major

  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Hans Källander
  • Jan-Åke Nilsson
Publishing year: 1989
Language: English
Pages: 589-600
Publication/Series: Ibis
Volume: 131
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

We studied the effects of manipulation of the size of first broods in the Great Tit Parus major on the size and breeding success of second clutches and its relation to the degree of clutch overlap. The rearing of first brood fledglings always overlapped with the laying of the second clutch and in most cases also with the incubation period of the latter. The degree of clutch overlap depended on the size of the first brood, being less when the first brood was large. Clutch overlap also increased with season. Mechanisms affecting the timing of laying of second clutches are discussed. A large first brood imposed reproductive costs. It affected the size of the second clutch by causing it to be delayed; second clutch size decreases with season. It affected the post-fledging survival of second brood young as, in this population, this decreases with fledging date. The breeding success of second clutches was, however, not affected by the size of the first brood, but instead by the weight of the female when rearing the first brood.


  • Ecology
  • Zoology


  • ISSN: 0019-1019
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