Variation in clutch size in relation to nest size in birds

Moller, Anders P. and Adriaensen, Frank and Artemyev, Alexandr and Banbura, Jerzy and Barba, Emilio and Biard, Clotilde and Blondel, Jacques and Bouslama, Zihad and Bouvier, Jean-Charles and Camprodon, Jordi and Cecere, Francesco and Charmantier, Anne and Charter, Motti and Cichon, Mariusz and Cusimano, Camillo and Czeszczewik, Dorota and Demeyrier, Virginie and Doligez, Blandine and Doutrelant, Claire and Dubiec, Anna and Eens, Marcel and Eeva, Tapio and Faivre, Bruno and Ferns, Peter N. and Forsman, Jukka T. and Garcia-Del-Rey, Eduardo and Goldshtein, Aya and Goodenough, Anne E. and Gosler, Andrew G. and Gozdz, Iga and Gregoire, Arnaud and Gustafsson, Lars and Hartley, Ian R. and Heeb, Philipp and Hinsley, Shelley A. and Isenmann, Paul and Jacob, Staffan and Jaervinen, Antero and Juskaitis, Rimvydas and Korpimaeki, Erkki and Krams, Indrikis and Laaksonen, Toni and Leclercq, Bernard and Lehikoinen, Esa and Loukola, Olli and Lundberg, Arne and Mainwaring, Mark C. and Maend, Raivo and Massa, Bruno and Mazgajski, Tomasz D. and Merino, Santiago and Mitrus, Cezary and Moenkkoenen, Mikko and Morales-Fernaz, Judith and Morin, Xavier and Nager, Ruedi G. and Nilsson, Jan-Ake and Nilsson, Sven G. and Norte, Ana C. and Orell, Markku and Perret, Philippe and Pimentel, Carla S. and Pinxten, Rianne and Priedniece, Ilze and Quidoz, Marie-Claude and Remes, Vladimir and Richner, Heinz and Robles, Hugo and Rytkoenen, Seppo and Carlos Senar, Juan and Seppaenen, Janne T. and da Silva, Luis P. and Slagsvold, Tore and Solonen, Tapio and Sorace, Alberto and Stenning, Martyn J. and Toeroek, Janos and Tryjanowski, Piotr and van Noordwijk, Arie J. and von Numers, Mikael and Walankiewicz, Wieslaw and Lambrechts, Marcel M. (2014) Variation in clutch size in relation to nest size in birds. Ecology and Evolution, 4 (18). pp. 3583-3595. ISSN 2045-7758

Full text not available from this repository.


Nests are structures built to support and protect eggs and/or offspring from predators, parasites, and adverse weather conditions. Nests are mainly constructed prior to egg laying, meaning that parent birds must make decisions about nest site choice and nest building behavior before the start of egg-laying. Parent birds should be selected to choose nest sites and to build optimally sized nests, yet our current understanding of clutch size-nest size relationships is limited to small-scale studies performed over short time periods. Here, we quantified the relationship between clutch size and nest size, using an exhaustive database of 116 slope estimates based on 17,472 nests of 21 species of hole and non-hole-nesting birds. There was a significant, positive relationship between clutch size and the base area of the nest box or the nest, and this relationship did not differ significantly between open nesting and hole-nesting species. The slope of the relationship showed significant intraspecific and interspecific heterogeneity among four species of secondary hole-nesting species, but also among all 116 slope estimates. The estimated relationship between clutch size and nest box base area in study sites with more than a single size of nest box was not significantly different from the relationship using studies with only a single size of nest box. The slope of the relationship between clutch size and nest base area in different species of birds was significantly negatively related to minimum base area, and less so to maximum base area in a given study. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that bird species have a general reaction norm reflecting the relationship between nest size and clutch size. Further, they suggest that scientists may influence the clutch size decisions of hole-nesting birds through the provisioning of nest boxes of varying sizes.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecology and Evolution
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
07 Nov 2016 09:48
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 02:08