Advanced

Female aggressive response and hormonal correlates - an intrusion experiment in a free-living passerine

Parn, Henrik; Lindstrom, Karin M.; Sandell, Maria LU and Amundsen, Trond (2008) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62(10). p.1665-1677
Abstract
The optimal mating system is rarely the same for males and females-whereas males usually benefit from attracting additional females to the territory, this could incur costs for the resident female. Females should therefore prevent prospecting females from settling on the territory. We studied the male and female behavioral and hormonal responses to simulated female territorial intrusions in free-living bluethroats during the pre-laying period. In the study population, polygyny occurs with potential fitness costs for the resident female. We recorded different aspects of aggressive behavior before and after presentation of a live female decoy and playback of female song. These behaviors were compared with a set of intrusions using a male... (More)
The optimal mating system is rarely the same for males and females-whereas males usually benefit from attracting additional females to the territory, this could incur costs for the resident female. Females should therefore prevent prospecting females from settling on the territory. We studied the male and female behavioral and hormonal responses to simulated female territorial intrusions in free-living bluethroats during the pre-laying period. In the study population, polygyny occurs with potential fitness costs for the resident female. We recorded different aspects of aggressive behavior before and after presentation of a live female decoy and playback of female song. These behaviors were compared with a set of intrusions using a male decoy. At the end of a trial, the birds were captured, and blood samples were analyzed for androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol and corticosterone. During the pre-intrusion period, none of the females were observed. Females generally responded strongly to the female decoy by increased flight rate, vocalizations, and by conspicuous perching. Nearly half of the males displayed to the female decoy but never while the resident female was present. We suggest that resident female aggression in bluethroats prevents courtship by her mate and signals her mating status to the female intruder. Female aggression could therefore prevent additional females to settle on the territory and shape the mating system. Females that responded with song had higher levels of estradiol. These findings suggest that estradiol may support aggression in breeding female birds. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
estradiol, sexual conflict, monogamy, territorial intrusion, female aggression, female ornamentation, testosterone
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
62
issue
10
pages
1665 - 1677
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000257912700014
  • scopus:48349100208
ISSN
1432-0762
DOI
10.1007/s00265-008-0595-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3f385e71-ac9c-49bf-8e99-d9f08d7884f9 (old id 1253965)
date added to LUP
2008-11-03 15:14:36
date last changed
2017-09-03 04:07:12
@article{3f385e71-ac9c-49bf-8e99-d9f08d7884f9,
  abstract     = {The optimal mating system is rarely the same for males and females-whereas males usually benefit from attracting additional females to the territory, this could incur costs for the resident female. Females should therefore prevent prospecting females from settling on the territory. We studied the male and female behavioral and hormonal responses to simulated female territorial intrusions in free-living bluethroats during the pre-laying period. In the study population, polygyny occurs with potential fitness costs for the resident female. We recorded different aspects of aggressive behavior before and after presentation of a live female decoy and playback of female song. These behaviors were compared with a set of intrusions using a male decoy. At the end of a trial, the birds were captured, and blood samples were analyzed for androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol and corticosterone. During the pre-intrusion period, none of the females were observed. Females generally responded strongly to the female decoy by increased flight rate, vocalizations, and by conspicuous perching. Nearly half of the males displayed to the female decoy but never while the resident female was present. We suggest that resident female aggression in bluethroats prevents courtship by her mate and signals her mating status to the female intruder. Female aggression could therefore prevent additional females to settle on the territory and shape the mating system. Females that responded with song had higher levels of estradiol. These findings suggest that estradiol may support aggression in breeding female birds.},
  author       = {Parn, Henrik and Lindstrom, Karin M. and Sandell, Maria and Amundsen, Trond},
  issn         = {1432-0762},
  keyword      = {estradiol,sexual conflict,monogamy,territorial intrusion,female aggression,female ornamentation,testosterone},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1665--1677},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Female aggressive response and hormonal correlates - an intrusion experiment in a free-living passerine},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-008-0595-3},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2008},
}