Published May 27, 2020 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Cornell, Allison; Gibson, Kate F.; Williams, Tony D. (2020). Physiological maturity at a critical life‐history transition and flight ability at fledging [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c2n66
Developmental maturity (e.g. body condition, body mass) at major life-history transitions is known to affect fitness across a wide range of taxa.
Fledging (leaving the nest), a major life-history transition in birds, is associated with high post-fledging mortality and is widely assumed to be related to poor initial flight ability of fledglings, which, in turn, might be related to developmental maturity at fledging.
We investigated individual variation in developmental maturity of both somatic and physiological traits at this critical life-history transition in different ecological contexts (year, first or second broods) to determine the importance of physiological traits related to oxygen-carrying capacity (haematocrit, haemoglobin) for individual variation in initial flight ability at fledging.
Haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit at fledging had much higher variance than somatic traits and were more variable across ecological contexts. Furthermore, fledgling haemoglobin concentration was the least developmentally mature of all traits (on average, only 78% of adult concentration).
Fledglings from second broods, which are known to have lower post-fledging survival, were less developmentally mature than fledglings from first broods for all traits (except tarsus), with haematocrit and haemoglobin concentration being the most developmentally immature traits (in first vs. second broods, haematocrit: 47·1% vs. 40·9%; haemoglobin: 13·3 vs. 11·6 g dL−1).
Models predicting individual variation in two aspects of initial flight ability (total energy gain, take-off angle) were significantly improved when physiological traits (in particular haemoglobin) were incorporated into models based on somatic traits.
File name: chickdatadryad; physiological, somatic, and flight trait values for all chicks in the study, as well as covariate data like minutes handled and time of day sampled (d21time). More details available in SupplementalDryadInfo file.
File name: SupplementalDryadInfo; descriptions of column headers for chickdatadryad, and notes about NA values, use of data, etc.
File name: AdultValuesDryad; adult measurements for all individual adults used in the study to calculate average adult values, the average adult value was used to generate Table 1 of Results section
Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada Discovery and Accelerator Grant, Award: 155395-2012-RGPIN
Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada Discovery and Accelerator Grant, Award: RGPAS/429387-2012