Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

The influence of body size, breeding experience and environmental variability on egg size in the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

  • Pascale Michel (a1), Janet C. Ollason (a2), Vladimir Grosbois (a1) (a3) and Paul M. Thompson (a1) (a3)

Abstract

Procellariform seabirds provide a good model for studies of the causes and consequences of variability in avian egg size, because females can only adjust reproductive investment by breeding intermittently, or by altering the size of their single egg. Maternal characteristics such as age, breeding experience and body size, as well as environmental variability, can influence egg size, but the effect of these factors has rarely been assessed simultaneously in the same study. Previous studies in Scotland have shown that the egg size of northern fulmars Fulmarus glacialis increased in relation to breeding experience. At this colony the influence of breeding experience, body size and inter-annual variability upon egg size was tested simultaneously. Data collected over seven breeding seasons between 1975 and 2002 showed that egg size varied significantly both between years and in relation to the length of the breeding experience of females, but that female body size explained most variation in egg size. Inter-annual variability in egg size was not related to the winter North Atlantic Oscillation, which had recently been shown to influence other measures of reproductive success at this colony. Larger eggs also seem to be more likely to produce successful fledglings. These findings are discussed in relation to the relative contribution of egg quality and parental quality on increased reproductive success.

Copyright

Corresponding author

All correspondence to: P. Thompson. E-mail: lighthouse@abdn.ac.uk
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Zoology
  • ISSN: 0952-8369
  • EISSN: 1469-7998
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-zoology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed