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  Alternative matings and the opportunity costs of paternal care in house sparrows

Schwagmeyer, P. L., Parker, P. G., Mock, D. W., & Schwabl, H. (2012). Alternative matings and the opportunity costs of paternal care in house sparrows. Behavioral Ecology, 23(5), 1108-1114. doi:10.1093/beheco/ars080.

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Schwagmeyer, P. L., Author
Parker, P. G., Author
Mock, D. W., Author
Schwabl, Hubert1, Author              
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1Washington State University Pullman, USA, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Among avian species with biparental care, male alternative reproductive opportunities can occur in the form of either extrapair fertilizations or additional social mates. We manipulated testosterone (T) levels in male house sparrows to assess whether participation in parental care detracts from male success in securing alternative matings; we also compared the annual reproductive success of males that engaged in normal levels of care with the success of males that displayed increased mating effort at the expense of parental care. Our results showed that the incidence of polygyny among high-T/low-parenting males was elevated relative to control males, but that success in obtaining extrapair mates was independent of hormonal treatment. Thus, male parental care seems to carry an opportunity cost in terms of reduced acquisition of additional social mates. Despite this cost, between-treatment comparisons of the estimated number of fledglings sired annually suggest that, in this species, the value of male contributions to care is sufficiently high to favor the reductions in T that facilitate normal male parenting.

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 Dates: 2012-09-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: Other: WOS:000308228200027
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ars080
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Title: Behavioral Ecology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York, NY : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 23 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1108 - 1114 Identifier: ISSN: 1045-2249
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925590416