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Theory predicts shorter embryonic periods in species with greater embryo mortality risk and smaller body size. Field studies of 80 passerine species on three continents yielded data that largely conflicted with theory; incubation (embryonic) periods were longer rather than shorter in smaller species, and egg (embryo) mortality risk explained some variation(More)
Broad geographic patterns in egg and clutch mass are poorly described, and potential causes of variation remain largely unexamined. We describe interspecific variation in avian egg and clutch mass within and among diverse geographic regions and explore hypotheses related to allometry, clutch size, nest predation, adult mortality, and parental care as(More)
Causes of interspecific variation in growth rates within and among geographic regions remain poorly understood. Passerine birds represent an intriguing case because differing theories yield the possibility of an antagonistic interaction between nest predation risk and food delivery rates on evolution of growth rates. We test this possibility among 64(More)
Parental behavior and effort vary extensively among species. Life-history theory suggests that age-specific mortality could cause this interspecific variation, but past tests have focused on fecundity as the measure of parental effort. Fecundity can cause costs of reproduction that confuse whether mortality is the cause or the consequence of parental(More)
Forest fragmentation may cause increased brood parasitism and nest pre-dation of breeding birds. In North America, nest parasitism and predation are expected to increase closer to forest edges because the brood-parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird (Mol-othrus ater) and generalist nest predators often enter the forest from adjoining developed (largely(More)
Growth and development rates may result from genetic programming of intrinsic processes that yield correlated rates between life stages. These intrinsic rates are thought to affect adult mortality probability and longevity. However, if proximate extrinsic factors (e.g., temperature, food) influence development rates differently between stages and yield low(More)
Gene flow is traditionally thought to be antagonistic to population differentiation and local adaptation. However, recent studies have demonstrated that local adaptation can proceed provided that selection is greater than the homogenizing effects of gene flow. We extend these initial studies by combining ecology (climate), phenotype (body size),(More)
Dispersal can be motivated by multiple factors including sociality. Dispersal behaviour affects population genetic structure that in turn reinforces social organization. We combined observational information with individual-based genetic data in the Karoo scrub-robin, a facultative cooperatively breeding bird, to understand how social bonds within familial(More)
BACKGROUND The evolutionary interests of males and females rarely coincide (sexual conflict), and these conflicting interests influence morphology, behavior and speciation in various organisms. We examined consequences of variation in sexual conflict in two closely-related passerine birds with contrasting breeding systems: the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz(More)
In many cooperatively-breeding species, the presence of one or more helpers improves the reproductive performance of the breeding pair receiving help. Helper contributions can take many different forms, including allo-feeding, offspring provisioning, and offspring guarding or defence. Yet, most studies have focussed on single forms of helper contribution,(More)