Avian life history variation along altitudinal gradients: An example with cardueline finches

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100 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elevation has long been considered a major influence on the evolution of life-history traits. Most elevation-induced variation in life history traits has been attributed to changes in climate, duration of breeding season, predation, and food limitation. I use a phylogenetic approach to show that life histories are closely associated with breeding elevation in extant cardueline finches. Finches at high elevations had smaller clutches, fewer broods, and longer incubation periods. Neither food limitation nor nest predation appear to readily account for this strong elevational variation in cardueline life histories. However, juvenile survival may be greater at higher elevations as a result of prolonged parental care and shorter natal dispersal and can potentially compensate for reduced fecundity in high-elevation finches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalOecologia
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breeding elevation
  • Cardueline finches
  • Life-history traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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