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Clutch size, reproductive success, and organochlorine contaminants in Atlantic coast black-crowned night-herons

Auk

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Abstract

In 1979, clutch-size and reproductive-success data were collected on black-crowned night-herons (N. nycticorax) nesting in 3 New England and two North Carolina [USA] colonies. In 1975, similar data were collected from 1 New England and 1 North Carolina colony. Latitudinal differences in clutch initiation were not evident. Mean clutch size was larger in the New England colonies. Mean clutch size was smaller in late nests from 1 New England colony studied in both years and another New England colony studied in 1979; seasonal trends in clutch size for another colonies were not found. In 1979, nest success was greater in 2 New England colonies than in 1 North Carolina colony. Within-season differences in nest success occurred but were inconsistent among colonies. In the 4 instances where statistical comparisons could be made, larger clutches were more successful than smaller ones in 2 colonies; large and small clutches had similar success in 2 other colonies. One egg was collected from each of several nests in each colony in 1979 for organochlorine contaminant analysis, and the fate of the remaining eggs was recorded. Concentrations of DDE and PCB [polychlorinated biphenyl] did not differ with clutch size; concentrations of PCB were lower in eggs laid late in the season. Although the data suggest an effect of DDE on hatching success in the northern more contaminated colonies, the impact of environmental contaminants on overall reproductive success appears to be minimal.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Clutch size, reproductive success, and organochlorine contaminants in Atlantic coast black-crowned night-herons
Series title:
Auk
Volume
100
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1983
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
699-710
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
699
Last page:
710
Number of Pages:
12