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1 July 2007 Inter-Nest Variability in the Egg to Hatchling Mass Ratio in the Common Pochard Aythya ferina: Does Female Body Mass Matter?
David Hořák, Tomas Albrecht, Petr Klvaňa, Petr musil
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Offspring survival and subsequent fitness are assumed to increase with offspring size. Although the relationship between egg size and young size in birds has attracted considerable scientific attention, to our knowledge no study so far has investigated differences among nests with respect to this relationship. The aim of this study was to find out 1) whether some inter-nest variation in the egg mass — young mass relationship exists among nests of Common Pochards, and 2) whether such a variation could be attributed to the body mass of the female measured in the last 5 days of incubation. Egg mass explained a higher portion of the variability in young mass in nests of heavier females. Those females produced smaller young for eggs of a given size. We suggest a trade-off between current and future reproduction as being the evolutionary mechanism underlying the relationship between female body mass and hatchling body mass.



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David Hořák, Tomas Albrecht, Petr Klvaňa, and Petr musil "Inter-Nest Variability in the Egg to Hatchling Mass Ratio in the Common Pochard Aythya ferina: Does Female Body Mass Matter?," Acta Ornithologica 42(1), 33-38, (1 July 2007).
Received: 1 October 2006; Accepted: 1 January 2007; Published: 1 July 2007
Aythya ferina
Common Pochard
life history
precocial bird
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