This chapter is concerned with the factors that influence breeding output by tundra-nesting geese, and is a review of published information. In recent years, many detailed studies on individual species have been made but, to my knowledge, no synthesis of ideas. The main ideas favoured here are (1) that breeding in such geese depends largely on reserves of body fat and protein accumulated at wintering and migration areas, and (2) that its timing and success is influenced by the date in spring when snow melts and nest sites become available. The first idea is an extension of David Lack’s (1967; 1968) last contribution on the evolution of clutch size in birds, while the second interested him many years earlier (Bertram et al., 1934). Regarding geese, major contributors to the field discussed here have included Cooch (1958), Barry (1962), Hanson (1962), MacInnes (1962, 1966), Ryder (1970) and F. Cooke (papers in preparation).
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- Timing and success of breeding in tundra-nesting geese
Dr I. Newton
- Macmillan Education UK