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Effects of a food supplementation experiment on reproductive investment and a post-mating sexually selected trait in magpies Pica pica

(2004) JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY. 35(3). p.246-251
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Abstract
Food availability is an important factor affecting breeding success in birds. Food supplementation experiments in birds have in general focused on the effects on reproductive success in terms of female investment (laying date, clutch size, egg size), however, it is also known that the estimation of mate quality based on sexually selected signals influences female reproductive investment. In the particular case of magpies, females use nest size, a post-mating sexually selected signal, to assess male's likelihood to invest in reproduction, and accordingly adjust reproductive investment (clutch size). Then, the possible effects of food supplementation on female reproductive investment could be mediated by other variables related to parental quality, such as nest size in magpies. In the present study, we explore if higher food availability in a magpie territory affected both male sexually selected traits (i.e. nest size) and female reproductive investment (laying date, egg size, clutch size). We performed a food supplementation experiment in which we experimentally increased food availability in several magpie territories, keeping others as controls. In food-supplemented territories, males built significantly larger nests and females significantly increased egg size by 4.1% compared to control females. Results suggest that the continuous provisioning of protein rich food allowed magpie females to increase egg size. However, laying date and clutch size did not differ between control and food-supplemented magpie pairs. Food availability also affected the relationship between female reproductive investment and nest size. In control territories, females decreased their egg size in response to a larger nest, whereas a tendency for the opposite relationship was revealed in food-supplemented territories. We discuss the possibility that magpie females adopt different strategies for reproductive investment according to food availability.
Keywords
CLUTCH SIZE, SUCCESS, GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOOS, BIRDS, CLAMATOR-GLANDARIUS, BROOD REDUCTION, MALE ATTRACTIVENESS, EGGS, PARASITE, QUALITY

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Chicago
De Neve, Liesbeth, Juan J Soler, Manuel Soler, Tomás Pérez-Contreras, Manuel Martín-Vivaldi, and Juan G Martínez. 2004. “Effects of a Food Supplementation Experiment on Reproductive Investment and a Post-mating Sexually Selected Trait in Magpies Pica Pica.” Journal of Avian Biology 35 (3): 246–251.
APA
De Neve, L., Soler, J. J., Soler, M., Pérez-Contreras, T., Martín-Vivaldi, M., & Martínez, J. G. (2004). Effects of a food supplementation experiment on reproductive investment and a post-mating sexually selected trait in magpies Pica pica. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY, 35(3), 246–251.
Vancouver
1.
De Neve L, Soler JJ, Soler M, Pérez-Contreras T, Martín-Vivaldi M, Martínez JG. Effects of a food supplementation experiment on reproductive investment and a post-mating sexually selected trait in magpies Pica pica. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY. 2004;35(3):246–51.
MLA
De Neve, Liesbeth, Juan J Soler, Manuel Soler, et al. “Effects of a Food Supplementation Experiment on Reproductive Investment and a Post-mating Sexually Selected Trait in Magpies Pica Pica.” JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 35.3 (2004): 246–251. Print.
@article{1233237,
  abstract     = {Food availability is an important factor affecting breeding success in birds. Food supplementation experiments in birds have in general focused on the effects on reproductive success in terms of female investment (laying date, clutch size, egg size), however, it is also known that the estimation of mate quality based on sexually selected signals influences female reproductive investment. In the particular case of magpies, females use nest size, a post-mating sexually selected signal, to assess male's likelihood to invest in reproduction, and accordingly adjust reproductive investment (clutch size). Then, the possible effects of food supplementation on female reproductive investment could be mediated by other variables related to parental quality, such as nest size in magpies. In the present study, we explore if higher food availability in a magpie territory affected both male sexually selected traits (i.e. nest size) and female reproductive investment (laying date, egg size, clutch size). We performed a food supplementation experiment in which we experimentally increased food availability in several magpie territories, keeping others as controls. In food-supplemented territories, males built significantly larger nests and females significantly increased egg size by 4.1\% compared to control females. Results suggest that the continuous provisioning of protein rich food allowed magpie females to increase egg size. However, laying date and clutch size did not differ between control and food-supplemented magpie pairs. Food availability also affected the relationship between female reproductive investment and nest size. In control territories, females decreased their egg size in response to a larger nest, whereas a tendency for the opposite relationship was revealed in food-supplemented territories. We discuss the possibility that magpie females adopt different strategies for reproductive investment according to food availability.},
  author       = {De Neve, Liesbeth and Soler, Juan J and Soler, Manuel and P{\'e}rez-Contreras, Tom{\'a}s and Mart{\'i}n-Vivaldi, Manuel and Mart{\'i}nez, Juan G},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {CLUTCH SIZE,SUCCESS,GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOOS,BIRDS,CLAMATOR-GLANDARIUS,BROOD REDUCTION,MALE ATTRACTIVENESS,EGGS,PARASITE,QUALITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {246--251},
  title        = {Effects of a food supplementation experiment on reproductive investment and a post-mating sexually selected trait in magpies Pica pica},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03162.x},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2004},
}

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