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Are low reproductive rates characteristics of New Zealand's native terrestrial birds? Evidence from the allometry of nesting parameters in altricial species

Franklin, Donald C. and Wilson, KJ (2003). Are low reproductive rates characteristics of New Zealand's native terrestrial birds? Evidence from the allometry of nesting parameters in altricial species. New Zealand Journal of Zoology,30(3):185-204.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Are low reproductive rates characteristics of New Zealand's native terrestrial birds? Evidence from the allometry of nesting parameters in altricial species
Author Franklin, Donald C.
Wilson, KJ
Journal Name New Zealand Journal of Zoology
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 30
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0301-4223   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0242307027
Start Page 185
End Page 204
Total Pages 20
Place of Publication Wellington, New Zealand
Publisher Royal Society of New Zealand
Field of Research 0603 - Evolutionary Biology
0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We investigate the notion that New Zealand's avifauna exhibits a macro-evolutionary trend towards low reproductive rates by analysing the allometry of nesting parameters for native altricial land birds. We show that egg size, incubation periods, and nestling periods are all strongly correlated with body mass, but clutch size is not. However, egg size more accurately predicts incubation periods, and incubation periods more accurately predict nestling periods, than does body mass. Variation between and within families is explored. Neither divergence per se nor slow rates of reproduction appear related to the taxic level of endemism. Gigantic species breed more slowly in proportion to body mass as predicted allometrically, but as a macro-evolutionary trend, the effect is counterpointed within New Zealand by a parallel trend towards dwarfism. We found that hollow- and cavity-nesting species have longer nestling periods than open-nesting species. Corvida passerines lay larger eggs, after controlling for body mass, than do Passerida passerines. Most of New Zealand's altricial bird species evolved from Australian colonists. Macro-evolutionary trends are therefore most likely to be identified by comparison with the Australian avifauna. We present evidence suggesting that New Zealand passerines lay larger clutches than their Australian temperate zone counterparts. A previous study (Trevelyan & Read 1989) suggested that New Zealand birds lay more clutches per year. These findings are inconsistent with suggestions of marked K-selection in the New Zealand avifauna, but may be explicable under the bet-hedging hypothesis for the evolution of life histories. The notion that New Zealand birds breed slowly may have arisen by comparisons with the avifaunas of the Northern Hemisphere, comparisons that ignore the distinctive life history traits of the avifaunas of tropical and other southern temperate regions.
Keywords altricial land birds
passerines
corvida
non-passerines
new zealand
allometry
reproductive rates
nesting parameters
phylogeny
bet-hedging
endemism
gigantism
nest predators
life-history evolution
passerine birds
breeding biology
strigops-habroptilus
clutch-size
body-weight
avian egg
predation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03014223.2003.9518338   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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