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Physiological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds$
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Tony D. Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139821

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139821.001.0001

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Clutch Size

Clutch Size

Chapter:
(p.155) Chapter 5 Clutch Size
Source:
Physiological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds
Author(s):

Tony D. Williams

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691139821.003.0005

Clutch size is generally considered to be one of the most important determinants of reproductive success and lifetime fitness in birds. It is also perhaps the most well-studied life-history trait in birds, though many reviews have focused on interspecific variation. Clutch size sets an upper limit on brood size, and in single-brooded species, clutch size will therefore determine the maximum annual fledgling productivity. This chapter identifies the physiological mechanisms underlying individual, phenotypic variation in clutch size. Topics discussed include individual variations in clutch size and clutch number; why clutch size varies among individuals; selection on clutch size; and physiological mechanisms of clutch-size determination.

Keywords:   clutch size, avian reproduction, clutch number, female reproduction, physiological mechanisms

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