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Latitudinal patterns of reproductive effort in gamebirds and waterfowl: bucking the trend?

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Clutch sizes of gamebirds decrease in a hyperbolic fashion towards the equator, but their clutch investment (total clutch mass as a proportion of female body weight) does not vary with latitude, regardless of whether body mass and phylogeny are factored out. In contrast, clutch sizes of wildfowl increase towards the tropics, but when corrected for body mass and phylogeny, no latitudinal pattern remains. Clutch investment by wildfowl peaks in the tropics, but this relationship becomes insignificant when body size and phylogeny are factored out. These contrasting patterns are explored in terms of habitat type, and the groups’ shared precocial development mode.

Keywords: Anseriformes; Galliformes; body mass; latitude; phylogeny; reproductive investment

Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: January 1, 2011


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