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Early arrival is not associated with more extra-pair fertilizations in a long-distance migratory bird



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Tomatoni, Barbara M. and Caglar, Ezra and Hera Fernández, Iván de la and Mataman, A. Christa and Visser, Marcel E. (2017) Early arrival is not associated with more extra-pair fertilizations in a long-distance migratory bird. Journal of Avian Biology, 48 (6). pp. 854-861. ISSN 0908-8857 ESSN: 1600-048X

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jav.01317/full


When assessing the benefits of early arrival date of migratory birds, a hidden and often ignored component of males’ fitness is the higher chance of early-arriving birds to obtain extra-pair fertilizations. Here we investigated how extra-pair paternity might affect the relationship between male arrival date and number of fertilizations in a model study system, the European pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. For this purpose, we sampled and genotyped breeding pairs, unpaired males and offspring (including embryos from unhatched eggs when possible) of a Dutch pied flycatcher population. Detailed information on arrival date of males, egg laying date of their social mates and nest success was also recorded. Earlyarriving males had early-laying females and males with early-laying females had a higher probability of siring extra-pair eggs and obtain more fertilizations. However, male arrival date alone did not correlate with the probability to gain extra-pair paternity and neither to the amount of fertilized eggs. Both early- and late-arriving males had a higher probability of losing paternity in their own nest compared to birds with an intermediate arrival date. Finally, late-arriving males were more likely to remain unpaired but, interestingly, a few of these birds obtained paternity via extra-pair copulations. Because earlier arrival date did not lead to more extra-pair fertilizations and because such relationship seems to be driven mainly by the female’s laying date, we conclude that the contribution of extra-pair paternity to the overall fitness benefits of early male arrival date is relatively small.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ficedula hypoleuca; Migration
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Birds
ID Code:44040
Deposited On:21 Jul 2017 11:14
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:25

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