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Warm temperatures lead to early onset of incubation, shorter incubation periods and greater hatching asynchrony in tree swallows
 

Summary: Warm temperatures lead to early onset of incubation, shorter
incubation periods and greater hatching asynchrony in tree swallows
Tachycineta bicolor at the extremes of their range
Daniel R. Ardia, Caren B. Cooper and Andre┤ A. Dhondt
Ardia, D. R., Cooper, C. B. and Dhondt, A. A. 2006. Warm temperatures lead to early
onset of incubation, shorter incubation periods and greater hatching asynchrony in tree
swallows Tachycineta bicolor at the extremes of their range. ┴/ J. Avian Biol. 37: 137┴/
142.
The onset of incubation varies in birds, with many species beginning incubation prior
to clutch completion. Here we examine whether early onset is more likely to occur
during high temperatures, a critical prediction of the egg-viability hypothesis, which
suggest that birds begin incubation prior to clutch completion in order to maintain
egg-viability. We examined onset of incubation in tree swallows Tachycineta bicolor at
two locations at the extremes of their breeding range, Alaska and Tennessee.
A majority of individuals (68%) began incubation prior to clutch completion. While
females in Tennessee were more likely to begin incubation early, there was no difference
between sites when differences in temperatures inside nestboxes were controlled in
analyses. Rather, early onset of incubation was predicted by the proportion of daily
temperatures above physiological zero during laying, a critical prediction of the egg
viability hypothesis. Both warm weather and early onset led to shorter incubation

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine