IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Interval between clutches, fitness, and climate change


  • Anders Pape Møller


Timing of optimal reproduction can be affected by the presence of multiple broods, with multi-brooded species breeding earlier (and later) than the optimal timing of breeding as compared with single-brooded species that only need to optimize the timing of a single brood. Approximately two-thirds of barn swallows Hirundo rustica produce 2 broods per year, and I tested whether the constraints on timing of reproduction were affected by climate change because climatic amelioration would allow both an earlier start and a later termination of reproduction. The duration of the interval between first and second clutches and the variance in the duration increased during 1971--2005 when temperature during spring, but not summer, increased rapidly. Interclutch interval was shorter when mean date of breeding was late and also among late-breeding individuals during individual years. When clutch size and brood size of the first clutch were large, interval until the second brood increased. Pairs with a long interval produced more fledglings than pairs with a short interval. Pairs with first broods with strong mean T-cell--mediated immune responses took shorter time to start their second clutch, whereas mean body mass or tarsus length of first broods were not significantly related to interclutch interval. Interclutch interval increased with the size of a secondary sexual character, the length of the outermost tail feathers of adult male barn swallows, but not with tail length of females, or with size of several other phenotypic characters in either sex. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the duration of the interclutch interval is determined by a combination of environmental conditions, reproductive effort, and sexual selection. Copyright 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Pape Møller, 2007. "Interval between clutches, fitness, and climate change," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 18(1), pages 62-70, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:18:y:2007:i:1:p:62-70

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bates, Douglas & Mächler, Martin & Bolker, Ben & Walker, Steve, 2015. "Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 67(i01).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:18:y:2007:i:1:p:62-70. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.