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Females of many species copulate more frequently than necessary to fertilize their eggs despite the potential costs. Several studies, particularly on socially monogamous birds, have suggested that females obtain immediate material benefits by trading copulations for nutrients or other resources. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by manipulating the food resources available to prelaying female black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). If female kittiwakes trade copulations for courtship feeding because they need the extra resources, well-fed females (experimental group) should be less willing to copulate compared with females that are more food limited (control group). Contrary to our predictions, we found...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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For birds maintaining long-term monogamous relationships, mate loss might be expected to reduce fitness, either through reduced survival or reduced future reproductive investment. We used harvest of male brant during regular sport hunting seasons as an experimental removal to examine effects of mate loss on fitness of female black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans; hereafter brant). We used the Barker model in program MARK to examine effects of mate loss on annual survival, reporting rate, and permanent emigration. Survival rates decreased from 0.847 ± 0.004 for females who did not lose their mates to 0.690 ± 0.072 for birds who lost mates. Seber ring reporting rate for females that lost their mates were 2 times...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Proximate and ultimate causes of dispersal in vertebrates vary, and relative importance of these causes is poorly understood. Among populations, inter- and intrasexual social cues for dispersal are thought to reduce inbreeding and local mate competition, respectively, and specific emigration cue may affect dispersal distance, such that inbreeding avoidance dispersal tends to be farther than dispersal to reduce local competition. To investigate potential occurrence of multiple proximate and ultimate causes of dispersal within populations, we radio-marked 363 juvenile male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in 2 study areas in Pennsylvania. Natal dispersal probability and distance were monitored over a 3-year...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Questions about the ecological drivers of, and mechanistic constraints on, productivity have driven research on life-history evolution for decades. Resource availability and offspring mortality are considered among the 2 most important influences on the number of offspring per reproductive attempt. We used a factorial experimental design to manipulate food abundance and perceived offspring predation risk in a wild avian population (red-faced warblers; Cardellina rubrifrons) to identify the mechanistic cause of variation in avian clutch size. Additionally, we tested whether female quality helped explain the extant variation in clutch size. We found no support for the Food Limitation or Female Quality Hypotheses,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Kleptoparasitism (food theft) is a tactic used opportunistically by many foraging birds, but little is known about its fitness benefits. Here we show that habitual kleptoparasitism by individual parent roseate terns (Sterna dougallii) is associated with consistently superior reproductive performance relative to nonkleptoparasitic ('honest') parents, as measured by growth and survival to fledging among their offspring. In broods of two, both chicks of kleptoparasitic parents exhibited superior growth performance during the middle and later stages of the rearing period, relative to chicks of honest parents. This difference was especially pronounced in second-hatched chicks, whose survival is highly variable among...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Between 1999 and 2014, 126 archival time–depth recorders (TDRs) were used to examine the foraging behavior of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) off the coast of California, in both resource-abundant (recently occupied, low sea otter density) and resource-limited (long-occupied, high sea otter density) locations. Following predictions of foraging theory, sea otters generally behaved as energy rate maximizers. Males and females without pups employed similar foraging strategies to optimize rates of energy intake in resource-limited habitats, with some exceptions. Both groups increased overall foraging effort and made deeper, longer and more energetically costly dives as resources became limited, but males...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Across many taxa, guarding of fertile mates is a widespread tactic that enhances paternity assurance. However, guarding of mates can also occur during the nonfertile period, and the fitness benefits of this behavior are unclear. Male songbirds, for example, sometimes guard nonfertile females during foraging recesses from incubation. We hypothesized that guarding postreproductive mates may have important, but unrecognized, benefits by enhancing female foraging efficiency, thereby increasing time spent incubating eggs. We tested the hypothesis in 2 songbird species by examining female behavior during natural and experimentally induced absences of males. Male absence caused increased vigilance in foraging females that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Parental investment entails a trade-off between the benefits of effort in current offspring and the costs to future reproduction. Long-lived species are predicted to be reluctant to increase parental effort to avoid affecting their survival. We tested this hypothesis in black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla by clipping flight feathers of experimental males at the beginning of the chick-rearing period. We analyzed the consequences of this handicap on feeding and attendance behavior, body condition, integument coloration, and circulating levels of corticosterone and prolactin in handicapped males and their mates in comparison to unmanipulated controls. Chicks in both groups were compared in terms of aggressive...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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We studied male reproductive behavior of the buff-breasted sandpiper Tryngites subruficoills for three yean on a 16-km2 study site in northern Alaska to document variation in male lekking behavior and to explore the causes of that variation. During the breeding season, about 75% of males on the study area displayed on leks, with the remainder displaying solitarily. Leks averaged between 2.3 and 3.0 males each (maximum size = 20). Most leks (69%) were present in only one year and about one-tenth were active all three years. Half of the leks were active for only one survey (maximum of 3-4 days) in a given year. Individual male behavior varied substantially, from remaining at a tingle lek for most of the breeding season...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Wolf packs generally consist of a breeding pair and their maturing offspring that help provision and protect pack young. Because the reproductive tenure in wolves is often short, reproductively mature offspring might replace their parents, resulting in sibling or parent-offspring matings. To determine the extent of incestuous pairings, we measured relatedness based on variability in 20 microsatellite loci of mated pairs, parent-offspring pairs, and siblings in two populations of gray wolves. Our 16 sampled mated pairs had values of relatedness not overlapping those of known parent-offspring or sibling dyads, which is consistent with their being unrelated or distantly related. These results suggest that full siblings...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Sex allocation theory predicts that parents should favor offspring of the sex that provides the greatest fitness return. Despite growing evidence suggesting that vertebrates are able to overcome the constraint of chromosomal sex determination, the general pattern remains equivocal, indicating a need for experimental investigations. We used an experimental feeding design to study sex allocation during 3 years in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). Intense male–male competition for securing a breeding site is common in this species in which males are heavier and larger than females. Hence, we hypothesized that parents producing fledglings in better than average condition, as supplementarily fed pairs do, would...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Parent black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and their dependent chicks respond to food shortages by increasing circulating levels of corticosterone. To examine the behavioral significance of corticosterone release, we experimentally increased levels of circulating corticosterone in parents and chicks up to the levels observed during food shortages. We found that corticosterone-implanted chicks begged more frequently than sham-implanted controls. Corticosterone-implanted chicks in broods of two begged more frequently than singletons. Parent kittiwakes then responded to the increase in corticosterone levels in their chicks by increasing chick-feeding rates. However, feeding rates were not different among corticosterone-implanted...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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Data set is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet containing observations of marbled murrelet activity in forest sites in the Oregon Coast Range. Data were collected in 1994, 1996 and 1997.
Mating system characterizations have been hindered by difficulties in accurately assigning parentage to offspring. We investigated the relationship between social assemblages and mating relationships in a territorial harem polygynous mammal, the Gunnison's prairie dog, using a combination of behavioral and molecular analyses. We demonstrate multiple paternity and an extraordinarily high incidence of extraterritorial fertilizations (i.e., 61% of all progeny), in combination with the existence of female kin groups. On this basis, we conclude that social assemblages alone provide a poor description of the Gunnison's prairie dog mating system, and suggest several potential reasons for the maintenance of territoriality...
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In contrast to African Village Weavers (Ploceus cucullatus) that are parasitized by Diederik Cuckoos (Chrysococcyx caprius), introduced weavers on Hispaniola existed without parasitism for at least 2 centuries until the arrival of the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) in the 1970s. Cruz and Wiley (1989) found that Hispaniolan weavers had a lower rejection rate of foreign eggs than African populations. Subsequently, Robert and Sorci (1999) and Lahti (2005, 2006) found that acceptance of dissimilar eggs is not characteristic of the species throughout its Hispaniolan range. In 1999-2002, we studied egg rejection in Hispaniolan weavers on a broad regional scale. Rejection increased as experimental eggs became increasingly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology
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A crepuscular or nocturnal lifestyle has evolved in bees several times independently, probably to explore rewarding pollen sources without competition and to minimize predation and nest parasites. Despite these obvious advantages, only few bee species are nocturnal. Here we show that the sensitivity of the bee apposition eye is a major factor limiting the ability to forage in dim light. We present data on eye size, foraging times, and light levels for Megalopta genalis (Augochlorini, Halictidae) in Panama, and Lasioglossum (Sphecodogastra) sp. (Halictini, Halictidae) in Utah, USA. M. genalis females forage exclusively during twilight, but as a result of dim light levels in the rain forest, they are adapted to extremely...
Increases in population density often are associated with a change in mating system structure in numerous taxa. Typically, male interactions are minimal in extremely low density populations. As density increases, males exhibit territoriality but if density becomes too high, the energetic cost of defending a territory will eventually outweigh the reproductive benefits associated with territoriality. Consequently, males in high density populations may abandon territoriality and adopt dominance polygyny, lekking behavior, or scramble competition. We investigated the relationship between population density and mating system structure in three populations of the chuckwalla, Sauromalus obesus (= ater), near Phoenix, Arizona....
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We tested the relationship between synchrony of breeding and the frequency of extrapair fertilizations (EPFs) in two populations of red-winged blackbirds known to differ in female extrapair behavior. We found no association between the number of simultaneously fertilizable females (temporal neighbors) and EPF rate in either population, although a significant difference between populations in the direction of this relationship (positive where females initiated extrapair copulations and negative where males initiated them) suggested a modest difference in the influence of synchrony. Males losing offspring to EPFs tended to have more fertilizable females at that time than the actual sires in some analyses but not in...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Behavioral Ecology


map background search result map search result map Light intensity limits foraging activity in nocturnal and crepuscular bees Daily activity of Marbled Murrelets at inland forest sites in the Oregon Coast Range Daily activity of Marbled Murrelets at inland forest sites in the Oregon Coast Range Light intensity limits foraging activity in nocturnal and crepuscular bees