IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/beheco/v22y2011i1p66-72.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Plumage color and food availability affect male reproductive success in a socially monogamous bird

Author

Listed:
  • Erin L. O'Brien
  • Russell D. Dawson

Abstract

Male reproductive success in socially monogamous birds is influenced to varying degrees by within-pair fertilization (WPF) and extrapair fertilization (EPF). In many species, males of higher phenotypic quality (e.g., plumage color) are more likely to obtain EPFs; however, predictors of WPF success have been less consistently identified. Moreover, few studies have examined the influence of ecological variables on patterns of paternity, even though environmental conditions are known to affect mating behavior of male and female birds. In this study, we examined phenotypic and ecological factors influencing patterns of paternity in broods of mountain bluebirds, Sialia currucoides. We show that brighter, bluer males were more likely to obtain EPFs in first broods but that plumage color did not predict the ability of males to maintain paternity in their own nest. We then examined the effect of food availability in first broods on the probability of males losing paternity in second broods within the same season. Females that were provided with supplemental food throughout first breeding attempts were less likely to produce extrapair offspring in second broods, and we suggest that supplemented females may have been less likely to seek extrapair mating opportunities because they perceived their social mates to be of higher quality under conditions of enhanced food availability. Our results demonstrate that ecological variables such as food availability can influence patterns of paternity and suggest that consideration of environmental context will be important for future research investigating mate choice and sexual selection in socially monogamous species. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Erin L. O'Brien & Russell D. Dawson, 2011. "Plumage color and food availability affect male reproductive success in a socially monogamous bird," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22(1), pages 66-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:66-72
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/beheco/arq167
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:66-72. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/beheco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.