Fitness Effects of Parasites on Passerine Birds: A Review

  • Anders P. Møller
  • Klas Allander
  • Reija Dufva
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 24)


Reproductive success has been the target of many field studies of birds, because it is supposed to relate closely to fitness. Nest-predation has been since a long time recognized as a major determinant of reproductive success in passerine birds (e.g. Nice 1957, Ricklefs 1969). However, until quite recently, infestation by parasites has generally been neglected as a selective agent affecting fitness components in birds. One major reason for this neglect may be the fact that a large fraction of generalizations on passerine reproduction originate from nest-box studies, where effects of ecto-parasites have been minimized efficiently by field workers removing old parasite-infested nests (Møller 1989). Some effects of parasites may also have gone undetected because nest losses due to parasitism were mis-classified as being due to nest-predation or starvation.


Reproductive Success Passerine Bird Parasite Infestation Tree Swallow Collar Flycatcher 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders P. Møller
    • 1
  • Klas Allander
    • 1
  • Reija Dufva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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