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Breeding synchrony does not affect extra-pair paternity in great reed warblers

Arlt, D; Hansson, Bengt LU ; Bensch, Staffan LU ; von Schantz, Torbjörn LU and Hasselquist, Dennis LU (2004) In Behaviour 141(7). p.863-880
Abstract
Breeding synchrony is hypothesised to influence the occurrence and frequency of extra-pair fertilisations (EPFs) in birds irrespective of the social mating system. The two proposed hypotheses make opposite predictions. (1) Synchronous breeding leads to a lower frequency of EPFs because males face a trade-off between mate guarding and obtaining additional matings via extra-pair copulations (EPCs) ('guarding constraint' hypothesis). (2) Synchronous breeding promotes EPFs because females are able to compare displaying males simultaneously, which provides them with more reliable cues for extra-pair mate choice ('mate assessment' hypothesis). In a study of great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundillaceus) from 1987-1998, annual breeding was... (More)
Breeding synchrony is hypothesised to influence the occurrence and frequency of extra-pair fertilisations (EPFs) in birds irrespective of the social mating system. The two proposed hypotheses make opposite predictions. (1) Synchronous breeding leads to a lower frequency of EPFs because males face a trade-off between mate guarding and obtaining additional matings via extra-pair copulations (EPCs) ('guarding constraint' hypothesis). (2) Synchronous breeding promotes EPFs because females are able to compare displaying males simultaneously, which provides them with more reliable cues for extra-pair mate choice ('mate assessment' hypothesis). In a study of great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundillaceus) from 1987-1998, annual breeding was asynchronous and the frequency of EPFs was rather low (extra-pair young occurring in 6.4% of the broods). Within this population, however, there was no relationship between the frequency of EPFs and breeding synchrony, thus not favouring any of the two hypotheses. Contrary to assumptions of the hypotheses, mate guarding did not seem to constrain males from engaging in EPCs (disfavouring the 'guarding constraint' hypothesis), and females seem to have repeated opportunities to compare males irrespective of breeding synchrony (disfavouring the 'mate assessment' hypothesis). Our results suggest that breeding synchrony is not an important factor influencing patterns of EPFs in great reed warblers. The low frequency of EPFs may instead be explained by the socially polygynous mating system, where females are less constrained in their choice of a social male. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Behaviour
volume
141
issue
7
pages
863 - 880
publisher
Brill Academic Publishers
external identifiers
  • wos:000224343200005
  • scopus:4944256804
ISSN
1568-539X
DOI
10.1163/1568539042265699
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b263f1c4-34e3-4378-803e-bfaf3c5f34b5 (old id 136870)
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568539042265699
date added to LUP
2007-06-21 14:34:56
date last changed
2017-09-17 07:33:53
@article{b263f1c4-34e3-4378-803e-bfaf3c5f34b5,
  abstract     = {Breeding synchrony is hypothesised to influence the occurrence and frequency of extra-pair fertilisations (EPFs) in birds irrespective of the social mating system. The two proposed hypotheses make opposite predictions. (1) Synchronous breeding leads to a lower frequency of EPFs because males face a trade-off between mate guarding and obtaining additional matings via extra-pair copulations (EPCs) ('guarding constraint' hypothesis). (2) Synchronous breeding promotes EPFs because females are able to compare displaying males simultaneously, which provides them with more reliable cues for extra-pair mate choice ('mate assessment' hypothesis). In a study of great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundillaceus) from 1987-1998, annual breeding was asynchronous and the frequency of EPFs was rather low (extra-pair young occurring in 6.4% of the broods). Within this population, however, there was no relationship between the frequency of EPFs and breeding synchrony, thus not favouring any of the two hypotheses. Contrary to assumptions of the hypotheses, mate guarding did not seem to constrain males from engaging in EPCs (disfavouring the 'guarding constraint' hypothesis), and females seem to have repeated opportunities to compare males irrespective of breeding synchrony (disfavouring the 'mate assessment' hypothesis). Our results suggest that breeding synchrony is not an important factor influencing patterns of EPFs in great reed warblers. The low frequency of EPFs may instead be explained by the socially polygynous mating system, where females are less constrained in their choice of a social male.},
  author       = {Arlt, D and Hansson, Bengt and Bensch, Staffan and von Schantz, Torbjörn and Hasselquist, Dennis},
  issn         = {1568-539X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {863--880},
  publisher    = {Brill Academic Publishers},
  series       = {Behaviour},
  title        = {Breeding synchrony does not affect extra-pair paternity in great reed warblers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568539042265699},
  volume       = {141},
  year         = {2004},
}