Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Latitudinal variation in day length and working day length has a confounding effect when comparing nest attentiveness in tropical and temperate species

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During incubation, tropical passerines have been shown to have lower levels of nest attentiveness than their counterparts at north temperate latitudes, spending a higher percentage of daylight time off the nest. This difference has been interpreted as evidence of parental restraint; tropical birds allocate more time to daily self-maintenance, perhaps preserving their higher annual survival rates and future breeding potential. But such comparisons are susceptible to the confounding effects of day length variation, because a given amount of time spent off the nest will account for a greater percentage of daylight time near to the equator than at high latitudes during spring and summer. Based on a pattern of increasing day length between 0° and 70°N, we show that the impact of this bias is likely to be small where sites are separated by less than 30°–40° of latitude, but should increase substantially both with latitudinal span and distance from the equator. To illustrate this effect, we compared nest attentiveness in two congeners breeding at 1°S and 52°N. During incubation, Stripe-breasted Tits Parus fasciiventer in Uganda had a shorter working day (time from emerging to retiring) than north temperate Great Tits P. major, and spent a higher percentage of daylight time off the nest (32 %) than Great Tits in the UK (24 %). However, this difference was almost wholly explained by the latitudinal difference in day length; the amount of time spent off the nest differed by just 10 min day−1 (<1 % of the 24-h cycle). We show that this effect may be moderated by the change in working day length, which increased less rapidly (in relation to latitude) than day length. Although these effects can thus confound latitudinal comparisons of nest attentiveness, accentuating a pattern predicted by life-history theory, they are avoidable if attentiveness is expressed as the percentage of time or the number of minutes spent incubating per 24 h.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Volume155
Issue number2
Early online date8 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

    Research areas

  • Nest attentiveness, Latitudinal variation, Day length, Working day, Stripe-breasted Tit, Parus fasciiventer, Great Tit, Parus major

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Duet codes do not enhance neighbour recognition in two closely related species of duetting neotropical wrens

    Quiros Guerrero, E., Rivera-Cáceres, K., Janeiro Silva, M. J., Cresswell, W. & Templeton, C. N., 27 Jan 2021, In: Journal of Avian Biology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management

    Downey, H., Amano, T., Cadotte, M., Cook, C. N., Cooke, S. J., Haddaway, N. R., Jones, J. P. G., Littlewood, N., Walsh, J. C., Abrahams, M. I., Adum, G., Akasaka, M., Alves, J. A., Antwis, R. E., Arellano, E. C., Axmacher, J., Barclay, H., Batty, L., Benítez-López, A., Bennett, J. R. & 98 others, Berg, M. J., Bertolino, S., Biggs, D., Bolam, F. C., Bray, T., Brook, B. W., Bull, J. W., Burivalova, Z., Cabeza, M., Chauvenet, A. L. M., Christie, A. P., Cole, L., Cotton, A. J., Cotton, S., Cousins, S. A. O., Craven, D., Cresswell, W., Cusack, J. J., Dalrymple, S. E., Davies, Z. G., Diaz, A., Dodd, J. A., Felton, A., Fleishman, E., Gardner, C. J., Garside, R., Ghoddousi, A., Gilroy, J. J., Gill, D. A., Gill, J. A., Glew, L., Grainger, M. J., Grass, A. A., Greshon, S., Gundry, J., Hart, T., Hopkins, C. R., Howe, C., Johnson, A., Jones, K. W., Jordan, N. R., Kadoya, T., Kerhoas, D., Koricheva, J., Lee, T. M., Lengyel, S., Livingstone, S. W., Lyons, A., McCabe, G., Millett, J., Strevens, C. M., Moolna, A., Mossman, H. L., Mukherjee, N., Muñoz-Sáez, A., Negrões, N., Norfolk, O., Osawa, T., Papworth, S., Park, K. J., Pellet, J., Phillott, A. D., Plotnik, J. M., Priatna, D., Ramos, A. G., Randall, N., Richards, R. M., Ritchie, E. G., Roberts, D. L., Rocha, R., Rodríguez, J. P., Sanderson, R., Sasaki, T., Savilaakso, S., Sayer, C., Sekercioglu, C., Senzaki, M., Smith, G., Smith, R. J., Soga, M., Soulsbury, C. D., Steer, M. D., Stewart, G., Strange, E. F., Suggitt, A. J., Thompson, R. R. J., Thompson, S., Thornhill, I., Trevelyan, R. J., Usieta, H. O., Venter, O., Webber, A. D., White, R. L., Whittingham, M. J., Wilby, A., Yarnell, R. W., Zamora, V. & Sutherland, W. J., 25 Jan 2021, In: Ecological Solutions and Evidence. 2, 1, 11 p., e12032.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Conservation research output in sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, but only in a few countries

    Pototsky, C. & Cresswell, W., 2 Dec 2020, In: Oryx. 54, FirstView, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Movements of Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca fledglings: evidence of a post-fledging home range away from the natal site prior to first migration

    Styles, P., Patchett, R. B., Robins King, J. & Cresswell, W., 25 Nov 2020, In: Journal of Ornithology. First Online, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Regional wind patterns likely shape a seasonal migration detour

    Patchett, R. & Cresswell, W., 20 Nov 2020, In: Journal of Avian Biology. 51, 11, 6 p., e02466.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Journal of Ornithology (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    17 Jul 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Movements of Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca fledglings: evidence of a post-fledging home range away from the natal site prior to first migration

    Styles, P., Patchett, R. B., Robins King, J. & Cresswell, W., 25 Nov 2020, In: Journal of Ornithology. First Online, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Parental behaviour and family proximity as key to gosling survival in Greylag Geese (Anser anser)

    Szipl, G., Loth, A., Wascher, C. A. F., Hemetsberger, J., Kotrschal, K. & Frigerio, D., 20 Feb 2019, In: Journal of Ornithology. First Online, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Differential responses to gosling distress calls in parental and non-parental Greylag Geese

    Loth, A., Frigerio, D., Kotrschal, K. & Szipl, G., Apr 2018, In: Journal of Ornithology. 159, 2, p. 401-412 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Temperature and aridity determine body size conformity to Bergmann’s rule independent of latitudinal differences in a tropical environment

    Nwaogu, C. J., Tieleman, B. I., Bitrus, K. & Cresswell, W. R. L., Oct 2018, In: Journal of Ornithology. 159, 4, p. 1053–1062 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 77197527

Top