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Chinese Birds 2012, 3(4) 330-338 DOI:   10.5122/cbirds.2012.0037  ISSN: 1674-7674 CN: 11-5870/Q

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antiparasite behavior
avian brood parasitism
Carduelis chloris
clutch size
nest desertion
Peter SAMA?
Phillip CASSEY
Tomá? GRIM
Article by Peter SAMA?
Article by Lenka POLA?IKOVá
Article by Mark E. HAUBER
Article by Phillip CASSEY
Article by Tomá? GRIM

Egg rejection behavior and clutch characteristics of the European Greenfinch introduced to New Zealand

Peter SAMAŠ 1,*, Lenka POLACIKOVÁ 1,2, Mark E. HAUBER 3, Phillip CASSEY 4, Tomáš GRIM 1

1 Department of Zoology and Laboratory of Ornithology, Palacký University, 17. listopadu 50, CZ–771 46 Olomouc, Czech Republic 2 Department of Pathology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Palackého 1-3, CZ–612 42 Brno, Czech Republic 3 Department of Psychology, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA 4 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia


Animal populations, with a known history of introduction events, provide opportunities to study the dynamics of how rapid shifts in ecological context affect behavioral (e.g., responses to brood parasitism) and life-history (e.g., clutch and egg parameters) traits. We studied the European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) introduced to New Zealand, regarding foreign-egg rejection behaviors and also compared their clutch characteristics with data from the source populations in the United Kingdom. Although previously this species had been considered an unsuitable host for the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), and not impacted by selection pressure associated with brood parasitism, we found that Greenfinches in our study population were able to eject experimental eggs at low frequencies. In contrast, nest desertion rates were similar in experimentally parasitized and control unmanipulated nests, implying that nest desertion is not an antiparasite adaptation in this species. Contrary to previous studies, we did not find significant differences in clutch and egg sizes between introduced and source populations. This study emphasizes (1) the importance of using control treatments in studies of host responses to experimental parasitism, (2) including apparently unsuitable hosts of brood parasites, and (3) meta-replicating prior studies to further the process of gaining and validating scientific knowledge.

Keywords antiparasite behavior   avian brood parasitism   Carduelis chloris   clutch size   meta-replication   nest desertion  
Received 2012-11-30 Revised 2012-12-10 Online:  
DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2012.0037
Corresponding Authors: Peter Samas
About author:

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