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Laying date and polygyny as determinants of annual reproductive success in male collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis): A long-term study

AuthorsHerényi, Martón; Garamszegi, László Z. ; Hargitai, R.; Hegyi, A.; Rosivall, B.; Szöllosi, E.; Török, János
Issue Date2014
CitationNaturwissenschaften 101: 305- 312 (2014)
AbstractAnnual reproductive success (ARS) is one of the main components of lifetime reproductive success, a reliable measure of individual fitness. Previous studies often dealt with ARS and variables potentially affecting it. Among them, long-term studies that consider multiple factors at the same time are particularly important in understanding the adaptive value of different phenotypes. Here, we used an 18-year dataset to quantify the ARS of male collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) on the basis of recruited offspring. We simultaneously assessed the effect of start of breeding, age, polygyny, body size and the expression of forehead patch (a sexually selected trait). The success of early breeding individuals was appreciably higher than late birds; however, breeding too early was also disadvantaged, and males that bred around the yearly median breeding date had the highest ARS. Polygynous males were more successful in years with good food supply, while in years with low food availability, they did not produce more recruits than monogamous males. The age of males, their forehead patch size and body size did not affect the number of recruits. Our findings support the importance of breeding date and suggest stabilizing selection on it in the long term. We also show that polygyny is not always advantageous for males, and its fitness pay-off may depend on environmental quality. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00114-014-1157-3
issn: 0028-1042
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