Avian Breeding Adaptations: Hatching Asynchrony, Brood Reduction, and Nest Failure

@article{Clark1981AvianBA,
  title={Avian Breeding Adaptations: Hatching Asynchrony, Brood Reduction, and Nest Failure},
  author={Anne Barrett Clark and David Sloan Wilson},
  journal={The Quarterly Review of Biology},
  year={1981},
  volume={56},
  pages={253 - 277}
}
  • A. Clark, D. Wilson
  • Published 1 September 1981
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • The Quarterly Review of Biology
Hatching asynchrony within a brood, produced by the parent(s) initiating incubation before all eggs are laid, varies in degree among and within bird species. Its occurrence has been explained primarily as a mechanism for brood reduction in habitats with unpredictable resources, and less often as a response to nest predation. Using a simply model of the effect of total nest failure on optimal asynchrony, we predict that, even in the absence of brood reduction, most bird species should commence… 
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Is hatching asynchrony beneficial for the brood
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It is concluded that hatching asynchrony and the resulting size hierarchy are probably detrimental for the growth of nestlings in both good and bad years, at least in species where nestling mortality does not occur early in life.
Effect of Selection for Successful Reproduction on Hatching Synchrony and Asynchrony
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The clutch-size theory lends support to the "nest-failure" hypothesis of Tyrvainen (1969), Hussell (1972), and Clark and Wilson (1981), although the argument is different from theirs.
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