Life histories of birds: clutch size, longevity, and body mass among North
American game birds.
By RICHARD M. ZAMMUTO
ZAMMUTO, R. M. 1986. Life histories of birds: clutch size, longevity, and body mass among North American game birds. Can. J. Zool. 64: 2739-2749.
Abstract. Clutch size, longevity, and body mass data for 54 North American
game birds were extracted from the literature to test the hypothesis that a
trade-off exists between fecundity and survival among avian species. Species
with larger clutch sizes live shorter lives than species with smaller clutch
(r = - 0.38, n = 54, P < 0.01). This relationship still holds when the effects of body mass are removed
(r = -0.34,51 df, P < 0.05), indicating that the relationship is not simply a function of body mass.
This latter finding is inconsistent with previous life-history studies, perhaps because previous researchers did not attempt to remove body mass effects from their life-history investigations. Results are similar (P < 0.05) when mean values of life-history traits are examined at the generic level. However, no relationships (P > 0.05) among mean values of life-history traits occur at any taxonomic level higher than genus or when species are grouped with respect to feeding habits. This might be the result of low
sample size. I conclude that the evolution of clutch size is influenced by longevity, or vice versa, among species and genera of North American game birds.
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