Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Parental investment in eggs and its effect on nestling growth and survival in Magellanic Penguins

Melina Barrionuevo A C and Esteban Frere A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centro de Investigaciones Puerto Deseado, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral, CONICET, Avenida Prefectura s/n, cc 238, 9050, Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

B Wildlife Conservation Society, Amenabar 1595, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

C Corresponding author. Email: meliswahine@hotmail.com

Emu 114(3) 259-267 https://doi.org/10.1071/MU13067
Submitted: 28 July 2013  Accepted: 21 February 2014   Published: 10 July 2014

Abstract

Life-history variables evolve in response to cost–benefit trade-offs. For birds, larger eggs are thought to be beneficial for development of offspring but are energetically costly to produce. Further, egg-size dimorphism within or between clutches can vary with proximate and ultimate causes. We undertook a correlational study to evaluate parental investment in eggs by Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) and how it affects the growth and survival of nestlings in Puerto Deseado, Argentina, over 3 years. We evaluated the variables that affected egg-volume and yolk-area (using a non-destructive technique), and determined the effects of egg-volume and yolk-area on growth and survival of young. Females in good body-condition laid larger second eggs and, in good years (i.e. years of high reproductive success in the colonies of the study area), yolk-area of second eggs was larger than that of first eggs. We found a positive association between egg-volume and nestling body-size and yolk-area was positively related to nestling survival. Our results suggest that the size of eggs within clutches varied with year and female body-condition. Moreover we demonstrate for the first time that yolk-area is a strong predictor of nestling survival in Magellanic Penguins.


References

Ardia, D. R., Wasson, M. F., and Winkler, D. W. (2006). Individual quality and food availability determine yolk and egg mass and egg composition in Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor. Journal of Avian Biology 37, 252–259.
Individual quality and food availability determine yolk and egg mass and egg composition in Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor.CrossRef |

Bernardo, J. (1996). The particular maternal effect of propagule size, especially egg size: patterns, models, quality of evidence and interpretations. American Zoologist 36, 216–236.

Birkhead, T. R., and Nettleship, D. N. (1982). The adaptive significance of egg size and laying date in Thick-Billed Murres Uria lomvia. Ecology 63, 300–306.
The adaptive significance of egg size and laying date in Thick-Billed Murres Uria lomvia.CrossRef |

Boersma, P. D. (2008). Penguins as marine sentinels. Bioscience 58, 597–607.
Penguins as marine sentinels.CrossRef |

Boersma, P. D., and Rebstock, G. A. (2009a). Intraclutch egg-size dimorphism in Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus): adaptation, constraint or noise? Auk 126, 335–340.
Intraclutch egg-size dimorphism in Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus): adaptation, constraint or noise?CrossRef |

Boersma, P. D., and Rebstock, G. A. (2009b). Foraging distance affects reproductive success in Magellanic Penguins. Marine Ecology Progress Series 375, 263–275.
Foraging distance affects reproductive success in Magellanic Penguins.CrossRef |

Boersma, P. D., and Rebstock, G. A. (2010). Calculating egg volume when shape differs: when are equations appropriate? Journal of Field Ornithology 81, 442–448.
Calculating egg volume when shape differs: when are equations appropriate?CrossRef |

Boersma, P. D., and Stokes, D. L. (1995). Mortality patterns, hatching asynchrony, and size asymmetry in Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus chicks. In ‘The Penguins: Ecology and Management’. (Eds P. Dann, I. Norman and P. Reilly.) pp. 3–25. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Boersma, P. D., Stokes, D. L., and Yorio, P. M. (1990). Reproductive variability and historical change of Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) at Punta Tombo, Argentina. In ‘Penguin Biology’. (Eds L. S. Davis and J. T. Darby.) pp. 15–43. (Academic Press: San Diego, CA.)

Budden, A. E., and Beissinger, S. R. (2005). Egg mass in an asynchronously hatching parrot: does variation offset constraints imposed by laying order? Oecologia 144, 318–326.
Egg mass in an asynchronously hatching parrot: does variation offset constraints imposed by laying order?CrossRef | 15800736PubMed |

Burley, R. W., and Vadehra, D. V. (1989). ‘The Avian Egg: Chemistry and Biology.’ (Wiley: New York.)

Carey, C. (1996). Female reproductive energetics. In ‘Avian Energetics and Nutritional Ecology’. (Ed. C. Carey.) pp. 324–374. (Chapman and Hall: New York.)

Chew, B. P. (1993). Role of carotenoids in the immune response. Journal of Dairy Science 76, 2804–2811.
Role of carotenoids in the immune response.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK3sXmt1Cqsrg%3D&md5=691b02abb6e0efe665ac6a7812bb0508CAS | 8227684PubMed |

Christians, J. K. (2002). Avian egg size: variation within species and inflexibility within individuals. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 77, 1–26.
Avian egg size: variation within species and inflexibility within individuals.CrossRef | 11911371PubMed |

Clark, A. B., and Wilson, D. S. (1981). Avian breeding adaptations: hatching asynchrony, brood reduction, and nest failure. Quarterly Review of Biology 56, 253–277.
Avian breeding adaptations: hatching asynchrony, brood reduction, and nest failure.CrossRef |

Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1991). ‘The Evolution of Parental Care.’ (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.)

Crawley, M. J. (2007). ‘The R Book.’ (Wiley: Chichester, UK.)

Crossin, G. T., Trathan, P. N., Phillips, R. A., Dawson, A., Le Bouard, F., and Williams, T. D. (2010). A carryover effect of migration underlies individual variation in reproductive readiness and extreme egg size dimorphism in Macaroni Penguins. American Naturalist 176, 357–366.
A carryover effect of migration underlies individual variation in reproductive readiness and extreme egg size dimorphism in Macaroni Penguins.CrossRef | 20636133PubMed |

Crossin, G. T., Phillips, R. A., Trathan, P. N., Fox, D. S., Dawson, A., Wynne-Edwards, K. E., and Williams, T. D. (2012). Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses. General and Comparative Endocrinology 176, 151–157.
Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC38XitFyit74%3D&md5=1abc7398c60636a6848c3ed54e9c15beCAS | 22285395PubMed |

Cunningham, E. J. A., and Russell, A. F. (2000). Egg investment is influenced by male attractiveness in the Mallard. Nature 404, 74–77.
Egg investment is influenced by male attractiveness in the Mallard.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXhvVyqsro%3D&md5=5b8f15a74c10762dbefd2e4cea28c20dCAS |

Deeming, D. C. (2002). Embryonic development and utilization of egg components. In ‘Avian Incubation: Behaviour, Environment and Evolution’. (Ed. D. C. Deeming.) pp. 43–54. (Oxford University Press: New York.)

Enemar, A., and Arheimer, O. (1989). Developmental asynchrony and onset of incubation among passerine birds in a mountain birch forest of Swedish Lapland. Ornis Fennica 66, 32–40.

Frere, E., Gandini, P., and Boersma, P. D. (1998). The breeding ecology of Magellanic Penguins at Cabo Virgenes, Argentina: what factors determine reproductive success? Colonial Waterbirds 21, 205–210.
The breeding ecology of Magellanic Penguins at Cabo Virgenes, Argentina: what factors determine reproductive success?CrossRef |

Galbraith, H. (1988). Effects of egg size and composition on the size, quality and survival of Lapwing Vanellus vanellus chicks. Journal of Zoology 214, 383–398.
Effects of egg size and composition on the size, quality and survival of Lapwing Vanellus vanellus chicks.CrossRef |

Graczyk, T. K., Cranfield, M. R., Shaw, M. L., and Craig, L. E. (1994). Maternal antibodies against Plasmodium spp. in African Black-footed Penguin chicks. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 30, 365–371.
Maternal antibodies against Plasmodium spp. in African Black-footed Penguin chicks.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK2M%2FhvVymsw%3D%3D&md5=d7d714e255d9c9607b49637b40ab518eCAS | 7933279PubMed |

Gustafsson, L., and Sutherland, W. J. (1988). The costs of reproduction in the Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis. Nature 335, 813–815.
The costs of reproduction in the Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis.CrossRef |

Hanssen, S. A., Hasselquist, D., Folstad, I., and Erikstad, K. E. (2005). Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London – B. Biological Sciences 272, 1039–1046.
Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction.CrossRef |

Hargitai, R., Török, J., Tóth, L., Hegyi, G., Rosivall, B., Szigeti, B., and Szöllosi, E. (2005). Effects of environmental conditions and parental quality on inter- and intraclutch egg-size variation in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). Auk 122, 509–522.
Effects of environmental conditions and parental quality on inter- and intraclutch egg-size variation in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis).CrossRef |

Järvinen, A. (1991). Proximate factors affecting egg volume in subarctic hole-nesting passerines. Ornis Fennica 68, 99–104.

Krist, M., Remeš, V., Uvírová, L., Nádvorník, P., and Bureš, S. (2004). Egg size and offspring performance in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): a within-clutch approach. Oecologia 140, 52–60.
Egg size and offspring performance in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis): a within-clutch approach.CrossRef | 15118900PubMed |

Lamey, T. C. (1990). Hatch asynchrony and brood reduction in penguins. In ‘Penguin Biology’. (Eds L. S. Davis and J. T. Darby.) pp. 399–416. (Academic Press: San Diego, CA, USA.)

Lamey, T. C. (1992). Egg-size dimorphism, hatch asynchrony and brood reduction in Crested Penguins. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma.

Magrath, R. D. (1992). The effect of egg mass on the growth and survival of Blackbirds: a field experiment. Journal of Zoology 227, 639–654.
The effect of egg mass on the growth and survival of Blackbirds: a field experiment.CrossRef |

Mead, P. W., and Morton, M. L. (1985). Hatching asynchrony in the Mountain White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriuntha): a selected or incidental trait? Auk 102, 781–792.

Meijer, T., and Drent, R. (1999). Re-examination of the capital and income dichotomy in breeding birds. Ibis 141, 399–414.
Re-examination of the capital and income dichotomy in breeding birds.CrossRef |

Monaghan, P., and Nager, R. G. (1997). Why don’t birds lay more eggs? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 12, 270–274.
Why don’t birds lay more eggs?CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3M7itFKruw%3D%3D&md5=d4714614780b2d3ab0403843adf388b3CAS |

Monaghan, P., Bolton, M., and Houston, D. C. (1995). Egg production constraints and the evolution of avian clutch size. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London – B. Biological Sciences 259, 189–191.
Egg production constraints and the evolution of avian clutch size.CrossRef |

Monaghan, P., Nager, R. G., and Houston, D. C. (1998). The price of eggs: increased investment in egg production reduces the offspring rearing capacity of parents. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London – B. Biological Sciences 265, 1731–1735.
The price of eggs: increased investment in egg production reduces the offspring rearing capacity of parents.CrossRef |

Nilsson, J.-A., and Svensson, E. (1993). Causes and consequences of egg mass variation between and within Blue Tit clutches. Journal of Zoology 230, 469–481.
Causes and consequences of egg mass variation between and within Blue Tit clutches.CrossRef |

Perrins, C. M. (1970). The timing of birds’ breeding seasons. Ibis 112, 242–255.
The timing of birds’ breeding seasons.CrossRef |

Perrins, C. M. (1996). Eggs formation and the timing of breeding. Ibis 138, 2–15.
Eggs formation and the timing of breeding.CrossRef |

Potti, J. (1993). Enviromental ontogenic and genetic variation in egg size of the Pied Flycatcher. Canadian Journal of Zoology 71, 1534–1542.
Enviromental ontogenic and genetic variation in egg size of the Pied Flycatcher.CrossRef |

Rafferty, E. N., Boersma, P. D., and Rebstock, G. A. (2005). Intraclutch egg-size variation in Magellanic Penguins. Condor 107, 921–926.
Intraclutch egg-size variation in Magellanic Penguins.CrossRef |

Rebstock, G. A., and Boersma, P. D. (2011). Parental behavior controls incubation period and asynchrony of hatching in Magellanic Penguins. Condor 113, 316–325.
Parental behavior controls incubation period and asynchrony of hatching in Magellanic Penguins.CrossRef |

Reid, W. V., and Boersma, P. D. (1990). Parental quality and selection on egg size in the Magellanic Penguin. Evolution 44, 1780–1786.
Parental quality and selection on egg size in the Magellanic Penguin.CrossRef |

Risch, T. S., and Rohwer, F. C. (2000). Effects of parental quality and egg size on growth and survival of Herring Gull chicks. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78, 967–973.
Effects of parental quality and egg size on growth and survival of Herring Gull chicks.CrossRef |

Rubolini, D., Romano, M., Boncoraglio, G., Ferrari, R. P., Martinelli, R., Galeotti, P., Fasola, M., and Saino, N. (2005). Effects of elevated egg corticosterone levels on behavior, growth and immunity of Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) chicks. Hormones and Behavior 47, 592–605.
Effects of elevated egg corticosterone levels on behavior, growth and immunity of Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) chicks.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXivF2jsLw%3D&md5=719b2516d9b449265fd6e148ec5f7104CAS | 15811362PubMed |

Schiavini, A., Yorio, P., Gandini, P., Raya Rey, A., and Boersma, P. D. (2005). Los pingüinos de las costas argentinas: estado poblacional y conservación. Hornero 20, 5–23.

Schwabl, H. (1993). Yolk is a source of maternal testosterone for developing birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90, 11446–11450.
Yolk is a source of maternal testosterone for developing birds.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXhtVamur0%3D&md5=6f3e35d2ddafb1e8f8bd47f938d64b0aCAS | 8265571PubMed |

Slagsvold, T., Sandvik, J., Rofstad, G., Lorentsen, Ö., and Husby, M. (1984). On the adaptive value of intraclutch egg-size variation in birds. Auk 101, 685–697.
On the adaptive value of intraclutch egg-size variation in birds.CrossRef |

Styrsky, J. D., Dobbs, R. C., and Thompson, C. F. (2002). Sources of egg egg-size variation in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon): ontogenetic and environmental components. Auk 119, 800–807.
Sources of egg egg-size variation in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon): ontogenetic and environmental components.CrossRef |

Svagelj, W. S., and Quintana, F. (2011). Egg-size variation in the Imperial Cormorant: on the importance of individual effects. Condor 113, 528–537.
Egg-size variation in the Imperial Cormorant: on the importance of individual effects.CrossRef |

Whittingham, L. A., Dunn, P. O., and Lijfeld, J. T. (2007). Egg mass influences nestling quality in Tree Swallows, but there is no differential allocation in relation to laying order or sex. Condor 109, 585–594.
Egg mass influences nestling quality in Tree Swallows, but there is no differential allocation in relation to laying order or sex.CrossRef |

Williams, T. D. (1994). Intraspecific variation in egg size and egg composition in birds: effects on offspring fitness. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 68, 35–59.
Intraspecific variation in egg size and egg composition in birds: effects on offspring fitness.CrossRef |

Williams, T. D. (1995). ‘The Penguins: Spheniscidae.’ (Oxford University Press: New York.)

Williams, T. D., Lank, D. B., and Cooke, F. (1993). Is intraclutch egg-size variation adaptive in the Lesser Snow Goose? Oikos 67, 250–256.
Is intraclutch egg-size variation adaptive in the Lesser Snow Goose?CrossRef |

Yorio, P., García Borboroglu, P., Potti, J., and Moreno, J. (2001). Breeding biology of Magellanic Penguins Spheniscus magellanicus at Golfo San Jorge, Patagonia, Argentina. Marine Ornithology 29, 75–79.

Zuur, A. F., Ieno, E. N., Walker, N. J., Saveliev, A. A., and Smith, G. M. (2009). ‘Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R.’ (Springer: New York.)


Export Citation Cited By (3)

View Altmetrics