Data from: Egg size and offspring performance in the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): a within-clutch approach
Krist, Miloš et al. (2010), Data from: Egg size and offspring performance in the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): a within-clutch approach, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1758
Adaptive within-clutch allocation of resources by laying females is an important focus of evolutionary studies. However, the critical assumption of these studies, namely that within-clutch egg-size deviations affect offspring performance, has been properly tested only rarely. In this study, we investigated effects of within-clutch deviations in egg size on nestling survival, weight, fledgling condition, structural size and offspring recruitment to the breeding population in the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). Besides egg-size effects, we also followed effects of hatching asynchrony, laying sequence, offspring sex and paternity. There was no influence of egg size on nestling survival, tarsus length, condition or recruitment. Initially significant effect on nestling mass disappeared as nestlings approached fledging. Thus, there seems to be limited potential for a laying female to exploit within-clutch egg-size variation adaptively in the collared flycatcher, which agrees with the majority of earlier studies on other bird species. Instead, we suggest that within-clutch egg-size variation originates from the effects of proximate constraints on laying females. If true, adaptive explanations for within-clutch patterns in egg size should be invoked with caution.