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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

Clutch Size

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Disease relevance of Clutch Size


High impact information on Clutch Size

  • Among individual tamoxifen-treated females, birds that laid the smallest eggs early in their laying sequence laid the largest number of additional eggs, that is, there was a negative correlation, or trade-off, between egg size and clutch size [2].
  • Endocrine control of clutch size in reptiles. VIII. antiestrogenic effects of clomiphene citrate in the lizard Anolis carolinensis [3].
  • Androstenedione yolk concentrations increased with communal clutch size, which may indicate that higher levels of competition in larger groups lead to higher yolk androgen concentrations [4].
  • We hypothesise that the difference in effect of dietary carotenoids on the two species is due to relatively larger clutch size and higher growth rates of blue tits compared to great tits, leading to blue tit nestlings being more in need of carotenoids for antioxidant function than great tit nestlings [5].
  • The primaquine treatment increased clutch size by 18%; hatching was 39% higher and fledging 42% higher [6].

Biological context of Clutch Size

  • The results suggest that lindane induced estradiol insufficiency causes inhibition of hepatic RNA and yolk protein synthesis, thereby preventing transformation of moderately differentiated oocytes to mature vitellogenic follicles, delaying ovulation and thus drastically reducing clutch size [7].

Anatomical context of Clutch Size

  • Among free-living females, the interval between nest completion and appearance of the first egg was longer for T-females than for C-females and egg yolk concentrations of testosterone were higher, but there were no significant differences in estradiol levels, clutch size, or egg size [8].

Associations of Clutch Size with chemical compounds

  • Data on time of laying and number of eggs suggest that clutch size in the kestrel is determined by laying date itself, following an endogenous rhythm that is phase-locked to the reproductive cycle [9].
  • Additionally, testosterone concentration decreased with laying order, and varied with clutch size in a complex way [10].
  • In the field, we monitored its effects on the timing of egg laying, clutch size, egg size, egg steroid levels, incubation, and nest-defense behavior [8].
  • Effect of lindane on clutch size and level of egg yolk protein in domestic duck [7].
  • Clutch sizes tended to be smaller as more fluoride was added to the diet, but not significantly so, due to an increase of the variance in the treatment group [11].

Gene context of Clutch Size

  • The role of prolactin in the regulation of clutch size and onset of incubation behavior in the American kestrel [12].
  • However, E2-treatment of breeding females caused no significant change in plasma VTG or VLDL levels compared to control birds (measured at the 1-egg stage), and there was no difference in reproductive performance between groups (egg size, clutch size, timing of laying) [13].
  • We also measured plasma prolactin 2, 7, 12, and 17 days after egg laying began to determine whether clutch size covaried with prolactin concentration [14].
  • Neither laying dates, clutch-sizes, brood-sizes, nest failure nor hatching failure along the contaminated Mule (n=46 breeding attempts and 218 eggs) differed significantly from dippers along adjacent reference rivers (n=82 breeding attempts and 315 eggs) or Welsh rivers as a whole (n=332 breeding attempts and 1534 eggs) [15].


  1. Endocrine control of clutch size in reptiles. IV. Estrogen-induced hyperemia and growth of ovarian follicles in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. Jones, R.E. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (1975) [Pubmed]
  2. Experimental manipulation of female reproduction reveals an intraspecific egg size-clutch size trade-off. Williams, T.D. Proc. Biol. Sci. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Endocrine control of clutch size in reptiles. VIII. antiestrogenic effects of clomiphene citrate in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. LaGreek, F.T., Jones, R.E. Biol. Reprod. (1977) [Pubmed]
  4. Maternal androgens in eggs of communally breeding guira cuckoos (Guira guira). Cariello, M.O., Macedo, R.H., Schwabl, H.G. Hormones and behavior. (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. Carotenoid availability in diet and phenotype of blue and great tit nestlings. Biard, C., Surai, P.F., Møller, A.P. J. Exp. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. Malarial parasites decrease reproductive success: an experimental study in a passerine bird. Marzal, A., de Lope, F., Navarro, C., Møller, A.P. Oecologia (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Effect of lindane on clutch size and level of egg yolk protein in domestic duck. Chakravarty, S., Mandal, A., Lahiri, P. Toxicology (1986) [Pubmed]
  8. Consequences of elevating plasma testosterone in females of a socially monogamous songbird: evidence of constraints on male evolution? Clotfelter, E.D., O'Neal, D.M., Gaudioso, J.M., Casto, J.M., Parker-Renga, I.M., Snajdr, E.A., Duffy, D.L., Nolan, V., Ketterson, E.D. Hormones and behavior. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. Photoperiodic control of reproduction and molt in the kestrel, Falco tinnunculus. Meijer, T. J. Biol. Rhythms (1989) [Pubmed]
  10. Negative effects of early developmental stress on yolk testosterone levels in a passerine bird. Gil, D., Heim, C., Bulmer, E., Rocha, M., Puerta, M., Naguib, M. J. Exp. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Influence of a diet of fluoride-fed cockerels on reproductive performance of captive American kestrels. Carrière, D., Bird, D.M., Stamm, J.W. Environ. Pollut. (1987) [Pubmed]
  12. The role of prolactin in the regulation of clutch size and onset of incubation behavior in the American kestrel. Sockman, K.W., Schwabl, H., Sharp, P.J. Hormones and behavior. (2000) [Pubmed]
  13. Parental and first generation effects of exogenous 17beta-estradiol on reproductive performance of female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Williams, T.D. Hormones and behavior. (1999) [Pubmed]
  14. Egg production of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) is influenced by number of eggs in nest after incubation begins. Millam, J.R., Zhang, B., el Halawani, M.E. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  15. Effects of point-source PCB contamination on breeding performance and post-fledging survival in the dipper Cinclus cinclus. Ormerod, S.J., Tyler, S.J., Jüttner, I. Environ. Pollut. (2000) [Pubmed]
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