Nest-site Choice and Nest Construction in Non-avian Reptiles: Evolutionary Significance and Ecological Implications Article (Web of Science)


  • In oviparous animals, nest-site choice is both a critical determinant of an individual's lifetime fitness, and an important demographic parameter of populations. At the individual level, the location and characteristics of a nest site impact survival of both the nesting female and the nestling or hatchling stage, and can also influence offspring phenotype and the survival of emerging juveniles. At the population level, survival rates of females and offspring, and phenotypes affected by incubation conditions, affect population trends. Reptiles differ from birds in several key life-history traits associated with nesting behaviour in that they have long incubation periods, bury eggs within a substrate, and have minimal parental care. However, studies in reptile systems have also demonstrated several evolutionary drivers of nest-site choice that are also likely to be important in avian systems. These include the role of incubation conditions in affecting offspring phenotype, and the contribution of nest-site choice to survival of the juvenile life stage. Overall, studies on the evolution and ecology of nest-site choice in reptiles and birds have much to offer each other in terms of both theoretical basis and applications to conservation and management. Incorporating knowledge gained from a range of taxa into our research, and testing hypotheses in one system that have demonstrated importance in other systems, will provide a richer understanding of the ecology and evolution of nest-site choice.

publication date

  • 2016

published in

number of pages

  • 12

start page

  • 76

end page

  • 88


  • 9


  • 2