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GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN THE TRADE-OFF BETWEEN NESTLING GROWTH RATE AND BODY CONDITION IN THE
 

Summary: GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN THE TRADE-OFF BETWEEN
NESTLING GROWTH RATE AND BODY CONDITION IN THE
TREE SWALLOW
DANIEL R. ARDIA1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850
Abstract. Nestlings can exhibit considerable variation in developmental patterns both
within and among locations due to differences in environmental conditions and parental
investment. I investigated trade-offs between nestling growth rate and residual body mass
(body condition) at three locations across the range of the Tree Swallow (Tachycineta
bicolor). Nestlings at the northern extreme of the range in Alaska had slower growth rates,
lower body mass, and higher residual body mass than nestlings in New York and
Tennessee. High insect availability was correlated with increased growth rates of nestlings
in New York and Tennessee, but not in Alaska. Conversely, nestlings in Alaska showed
increased residual body mass with high insect availability, but nestlings in New York and
Tennessee did not. The trade-off between growth rate and residual body mass varied
among sites, with fast-growing nestlings in Tennessee maintaining a higher residual body
mass than those in Alaska. These results suggest that factors affecting offspring growth
and condition vary among sites, leading to geographical differences in offspring
development trajectories.
Key words: body condition, developmental trade-offs, environmental variation, food

  

Source: Ardia, Dan - Department of Biology, Franklin and Marshall College

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine