Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-29-2016


Biology | Life Sciences | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Clark Cotton, Biology


Metabolism is the major force that maintains the most rudimentary of functions, and, therefore, maintains life in every organism. Because of the immense effect metabolism can have on an individual’s life history, it is key that the factors influencing metabolic rate are investigated. This study was designed to investigate the influential factors affecting Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor, nestling resting metabolic rates by observing maternal effects, early developmental conditions, age, and body mass in Tree swallow nestlings within collection sites at the Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum and Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park in Stearns County, Minnesota. Due to the fact that there is little research on the resting metabolic rate of Tree swallows, this study contributes to the fields of ecology and organismal biology in allowing for greater knowledge on the resting metabolic rates of Tree swallows and, potentially, other small, short-lived animals. For this study, two predictions were made: the first being that the male Tree Swallow nestlings would have a higher resting metabolic rate than their female nestling counterparts. In the second prediction, it was anticipated that the resting metabolic rates of Tree Swallow nestlings from one nest box would differ significantly from the rates of nestlings within another nest box, as it was expected that their environmental influences would differ. After data analysis was completed, it was concluded that our first hypothesis, which states that males would have a higher resting metabolic rate than their female counterpart, was not supported, and that our second hypothesis that each nest box would have an average nestling resting metabolic rate different than the other nest boxes was supported.