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Martin, T.E., P.R. Martin, C.R. Olson, B.J. Heidinger, and J.J. Fontaine. 2000. Parental care and clutch sizes in North and South American birds. Science 287:1482-1485.

Abstract

The evolutionary causes of small clutch sizes in tropical and Southern Hemisphere regions are poorly understood. Alexander Skutch proposed 50 years ago that higher nest predation in the south constrains the rate at which parent birds can deliver food to young and thereby constrains clutch size by limiting the number of young that parents can feed. This hypothesis for explaining differences in clutch size and parental behaviors between latitudes has remained untested. Here, a detailed study of bird species in Arizona and Argentina shows that Skutch’s hypothesis explains clutch size variation within North and South America. However, neither Skutch’s hypothesis nor two major alternatives explain differences between latitudes.

 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 9

Phd Students: 9

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 17

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 7

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 41

 

Status

Published
December 2000

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Unit Authors

Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  2. The University of Montana
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute