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Title: Mating and reproductive decisions in the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca
Author: Ross, Douglas John
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1997
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1. This study investigated factors influencing the reproductive strategies employed by the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, in Cumbria, UK, 1993 - 1995. 2. Despite being commonly observed to be a polyterritorally polygynous species, only 5.5% of males in this population established a secondary territory and subsequently only 3.6% became polygynously mated. Single-locus DNA profiling similarly established the frequency of extra-pair paternity (EPP) in the population as being low (6.1% of 294 offspring; 23.5% of 51 broods). The majority of extra-pair males who were identified (10/12) were found to be neighbouring individuals. 3. Pairing order of males was most strongly influenced by their settlement pattern, with older individuals arriving earlier. No difference between chosen and rejected unpaired males was observed for a variety of male characteristics. A higher proportion of darker males were found to contain extra-pair young in their broods, however, the reason for this pattern was unclear. When the characteristics of pair males and those successfully gaining EPP were compared, only the body condition index scores measuring individual 'fitness' were found to differ, with higher quality males being successful cuckolders. 4. Experimental manipulation of phenotypic quality (by the removal of primaries 6 and 9, and the central 6 rectrices) was carried out prior to pairing to investigated whether this would affect; (i) pairing order of resident males; and (ii) female choice to gametic partner. Pairing order was not affected by the manipulation and there was no increased likelihood of becoming cuckolded. No difference was observed either in the frequency of feeding visits made during the nestling period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available