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The influence of diet quality on clutch size and laying pattern in mallards

Auk

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Abstract

We measured the effect of diet quality on variation in the seasonal pattern of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) reproduction. Twenty wild-strain hens, consisting of 10 sibling pairs, were maintained in captivity. One sib of each pair was fed an enriched diet, and the other was fed wheat. The wheat diet resulted in reduced clutch size, egg size, laying rate, number of nesting attempts, and total eggs laid. Diet did not affect laying initiation, duration, or the seasonal pattern of change in clutch and egg size with each renest. We believe the variation and pattern observed are adaptations to a highly variable prairie environment where the probability of reproductive success decreases as the season progresses.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The influence of diet quality on clutch size and laying pattern in mallards
Series title:
Auk
Volume
105
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
p. 102-110
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
102
Last page:
110
Number of Pages:
8