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Although animal population dynamics have often been correlated with fluctuations in precipitation, causal relationships have rarely been demonstrated in wild birds. We combined nest observations with a field experiment to investigate the direct effect of rainfall on survival of peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) nestlings in the Canadian Arctic. We then(More)
Integrative biologists have long appreciated that the effective acquisition and management of energy prior to breeding should strongly influence fitness-related reproductive decisions (timing of breeding and reproductive investment). However, because of the difficulty in capturing pre-breeding individuals, and the tendency towards abandonment of(More)
In natural populations, epidemics provide opportunities to look for intense natural selection on genes coding for life history and immune or other physiological traits. If the populations being considered are of management or conservation concern, then identifying the traits under selection (or 'markers') might provide insights into possible intervention(More)
The seasonal decline of avian clutch size may result from the conflict between the advantage of early breeding (greater offspring value) and the advantage of a delay in lay date (improved body condition and hence clutch size). We tested predictions of a condition-dependent individual optimization model based on this trade-off (Rowe et al. 1994) in a(More)
Quantifying the costs and benefits of migration distance is critical to understanding the evolution of long-distance migration. In migratory birds, life history theory predicts that the potential survival costs of migrating longer distances should be balanced by benefits to lifetime reproductive success, yet quantification of these reproductive benefits in(More)
Inter-individual variation in diet within generalist animal populations is thought to be a widespread phenomenon but its potential causes are poorly known. Inter-individual variation can be amplified by the availability and use of allochthonous resources, i.e., resources coming from spatially distinct ecosystems. Using a wild population of arctic fox as a(More)
Individuals breeding in seasonal environments are under strong selection to time reproduction to match offspring demand and the quality of the post-natal environment. Timing requires both the ability to accurately interpret the appropriate environmental cues, and the flexibility to respond to inter-annual variation in these cues. Determining which cues are(More)
The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT) in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total(More)
Predation has been suggested to be especially important in simple food webs and less productive ecosystems such as the arctic tundra, but very few data are available to evaluate this hypothesis. We examined the hypothesis that avian predators could drive the population dynamics of two cyclic lemming species in the Canadian Arctic. A dense and diverse suite(More)
Baseline glucocorticoid (CORT) levels in plasma are increasingly used as physiological indices of the relative condition or health of individuals and populations. The major limitation is that CORT production is stimulated by the stress associated with capture and handling. Measuring fecal CORT is one way to solve this problem because elevation of fecal CORT(More)