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Citation. McKinney, F. 1973. Ecoethological aspects of reproduction. Pages 6-21 in D. S. Farner, editor. Breeding Biology of Birds. National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C.   [1408  CC]

Abstract. The past decade saw new and exciting developments in areas of research in which evolution, ecology, and ethology overlap. Studies of avian reproduction played a key role in promoting new ways of thinking (Cullen, 1957; von Haartman, 1957; Tinbergen, 1959; Orians, 1961; Immelmann, 1961, 1962; Crook, 1964). These studies evolved through a blending of interests and ideas derived mainly from the long-term studies of Lack (1954, 1966, 1968, 1971) on avian ecology, especially population regulation, and those of Tinbergen (1953, 1954, 1959, 1963, 1967) on the evolution and adaptive significance of behavior. Investigators using these new approaches have referred to their field as "ecoethology" or "behavioral ecology". Although there are still somewhat different emphases among investigators, depending on whether their interests are primarily ecological or behavioral, it is obvious that an important field of biology, focusing on the study of adaptations, has developed rapidly. This new field had its roots in ornithology and already occupies a dominant place in the thinking of avian biologists. There have been parallel developments among field biologists of all types. In particular, it has been stimulated, among mammalogists, by the rapid growth of field studies on primates (e.g., Jay 1968; Altmann, 1971; Crook, 1970). These developments have had profound influences on the orientation of research programs with ultimate objectives bearing on conservation, control, or management; this is especially apparent in Britain (Murton, 1971). The blend of interests, stemming mainly from the research programs of Lack and Tinbergen, is illustrated by current attention to such topics as feeding ecology and behavior (e.g., Watson, 1970), spacing behavior (Watson and Moss, 1970; Brown and Orians, 1970), social systems (Crook, 1965, Orians, 1969), flocking behavior (Crook, 1961; Moynihan, 1962), habitat selection (Hilden, 1965), and communication (Crook, 1964; Marler, 1968). Many of these area of research have been reviewed recently, primarily from an ecological aspect, by Orians (1971), and since other participants in this symposium will discuss important ecological and physiological aspects of reproduction, I will take an ethological viewpoint. Since my task is neither to present the latest products of research nor to provide a detailed review, I will concentrate on an attempt to illustrate the ecoethological approach.

Keywords. behavioral ecology, avian reproduction

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