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Post ejection nest desertion of hosts of avian brood parasites; a second defence mechanism or avoiding reduced reproductive succes

Rosendaal, E.C. (2009) Post ejection nest desertion of hosts of avian brood parasites; a second defence mechanism or avoiding reduced reproductive succes. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Avian hosts of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), a brood parasite, develop anitiparasite mechanisms to increase their reproductive success. Ejection of the parasite egg or desertion of the parasitized nest are the most typical adaptations in response to brood parasitism. Some great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a highly parasitized host of the common cuckoo, showed both mechanisms: just after the successful ejection of the parasite egg they deserted their nests. We studied if such cases of post ejection nest desertion are related to brood parasitism. We experimentally parasitized clutches having five or three host eggs by two brown eggs. We found that post ejection nest desertion frequently occurred in the second category, but it was almost absent when bigger clutches were manipulated. The same phenomenon was also found when clutches just completed with five eggs and clutches in the laying stage with three eggs were reduced by two eggs. A logistic regression model revealed that only clutch size affected nest desertion in our experiments. For this reason we stated that post ejection nest desertion is not a second antiparasite mechanism might serve for a redundant antiparasite defence, but it is rather a reaction to decreased clutch size.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/8585

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