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

The 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:
The Auk
Volume:
105
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
9 p.
First page:
102
Last page:
110