+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

A rise in nest predation enhances the frequency of intraspecific brood parasitism in a moorhen population



A rise in nest predation enhances the frequency of intraspecific brood parasitism in a moorhen population



Journal Of Animal Ecology. 66(2): 143-153



1. A population of moorhens (Gallinula chloropus, Linnaeus) at Peakirk, Cambridgeshire, UK, was studied during three breeding seasons between 1991 and 1993. In the first 2 years, when rodent predators were controlled, the rate of nest predation was relatively low (37% and 36% of nests depredated, respectively), and the rate of brood parasitism was also low (10% and 13% of nests, respectively). However, in 1993, when rodents were not controlled, the rate of nest predation increased to 65%, and correspondingly, the rate of brood parasitism nearly doubled to 21% of nests. 2. The total number of eggs laid and the number of laying females did not differ greatly between the three years, but the proportion of eggs laid parasitically increased from 4% in 1991 and 1992, to 9% in 1993. 3. The increase in the rate of parasitism in 1993 was due primarily to a large number of females engaging in parasitic laying bouts immediately prior to nesting some time after clutch loss, and to a lesser extent, to females laying parasitically immediately after partial clutch loss. 4. Female moorhens tended to show local synchrony in clutch initiation. In 1993, females in neighbouring territories were significantly more likely to begin laying within a few days of one another than females in non-neighbouring territories. 5. Hosts were almost exclusively the immediate neighbours of the brood parasites. The high rate of nest predation observed in 1993 directly influenced the rate of brood parasitism because it increased the level of synchrony in laying between neighbours, giving them more opportunities to lay parasitically. 6. Together with other studies of brood parasitism, these results indicate that both low nest success rates and high nest availability can produce high rates of brood parasitism: the first, out of constraint when conditions are unfavourable, and the second as a bonus when conditions are particularly favourable.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 008073376

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/6017


Related references

Temporal variation in responses to intraspecific brood parasitism in the moorhen. Animal Behaviour 49(4): 1073-1088, 1995

Intraspecific brood parasitism and cooperative nesting in the moorhen, Gallinula chloropus. Belgian Journal of Zoology 123(SUPPL 1): 52, 1993

Intraspecific Brood Parasitism in the Moorhen: Parentage and Parasite-Host Relationships Determined by Dna Fingerprinting. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 38(2): 115-129, 1996

Intraspecific brood parasitism in the moorhen: Parentage and parasite-host relationships determined by DNA fingerprinting. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 38(2): 115-129, 1996

Effects of nest predation and brood parasitism on population viability of Wilson's Warblers in coastal California. Wilson Bulletin 116(1): 41-47, 2004

Are nest predation and brood parasitism correlated in Yellow Warblers? A test of the cowbird predation hypothesis. The Auk 117(4): 56-60, 2000

Distance From Riparian Edge Reduces Brood Parasitism of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers, Whereas Parasitism Increases Nest Predation Risk. The Journal of Wildlife Management 76(2): 269-277, 2012

Distance from riparian edge reduces brood parasitism of southwestern willow flycatchers, whereas parasitism increases nest predation risk. Journal of Wildlife Management 76(2): 269-272, 2012

Partial clutch predation, dilution of predation risk, and the evolution of intraspecific nest parasitism. Auk 125(3): 679-686, 2008

Intraspecific brood parasitism can increase the number of eggs that an individual lays in its own nest. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 269(1504): 1989-1992, 2002

Nest-box occupation and intraspecific brood parasitism in the grey starling Sturnus cineraceus. Korean Journal of Ornithology. December; 41: 27-34, 1997

Intraspecific Brood Parasitism Can Increase the Number of Eggs That an Individual Lays in Its Own Nest. Proceedings: Biological Sciences 269(1504): 1989-1992, 2002

Nest predation and brood parasitism of tallgrass prairie birds. Journal of Wildlife Management 54(1): 106-111, 1990

Experimental support for the role of nest predation in the evolution of brood parasitism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(6): 1354-1358, 2009

Modelling nest predation and brood parasitism Implications for environmental management. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 77(3 SUPPL PART 2): 477, 1996