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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2006

Authors: Gronstol, G; Blomqvist, D; Wagner, RH

Title: The importance of genetic evidence for identifying intra-specific brood parasitism.

Source: J Avian Biol (37), 2 197-199.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Wagner Richard

Vetmed Research Units
Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology

Intra-specific brood parasitism is widespread among birds. When genetic evidence is not available, criteria like super-normal clutch size, high within-clutch variance in egg morphology, and shorter than normal laying intervals have been used to identify parasitized broods. Here we report genetically determined parentage of a clutch of super-normal size in a species with fixed clutch size, the northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus. Results from multi-locus DNA fingerprinting revealed no loss of parentage in this brood. Furthermore, no loss of parentage was found in another clutch with a high variance in egg size and colouration. These findings add to previous evidence that reliable classification of brood parasitism requires molecular analysis.

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