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Lack's Clutch Size Hypothesis and Brood Enlargement Studies on Colonial Seabirds

R. C. Ydenberg and D. F. Bertram
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 12, No. 1 (1989), pp. 134-137
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521328
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521328
Page Count: 4
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Lack's Clutch Size Hypothesis and Brood Enlargement Studies on Colonial Seabirds
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Abstract

We review studies reporting experiments in which the broods of seabirds were enlarged. In more than half of the 25 studies (on 21 species) seabird parents successfully reared the extra chick(s) added to their broods. This large proportion of successes contrasts with the way that the outcome of these studies has often been reported in the literature. Usually, the failure of seabirds to rear extra chicks is emphasized, and is cited in support of Lack's hypothesis that birds have evolved clutch sizes producing the most surviving young. We discuss how Lack's hypothesis came to be widely accepted in spite of all the contradictory data.

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