South temperate birds have higher apparent adult survival than tropical birds in Africa

Submitted by avianbiology on 2 June 2014.

In the low vegetation of a nature reserve surrounding a nuclear power station on the south-west coast of South Africa, a community of passerine birds breeds at an extraordinarily high density. With up to 1,640 nests monitored and 1,255 birds banded each year, this system provided a unique opportunity to study the influence of age-specific mortality on life history traits of at least 17 species in the community. This papers shows that annual adult survival decreases with increasing clutch size in this south-temperate community and adult survival is slightly higher than in the tropics, where survival is thought to be particularly high.

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