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.
- Breeding elevation
- Cardueline finches
- Life-history traits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics