Extra-pair paternity in birds

Brouwer, Lyanne, and Griffith, Simon C. (2019) Extra-pair paternity in birds. Molecular Ecology, 28 (22). pp. 4864-4882.

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Since the first molecular study providing evidence for mating outside the pair bond in birds over 30 years ago, >500 studies have reported rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP) in >300 bird species. Here, we give a detailed overview of the current literature reporting EPP in birds and highlight the sampling biases and patterns in the data set with respect to taxonomy, avian phylogeny and global regions, knowledge of which will be crucial for correct interpretation of results in future comparative studies. Subsequently, we use this comprehensive dataset to simultaneously test the role of several ecological and life history variables. We do not find clear evidence that variation in EPP across socially monogamous species can be explained by latitude, density (coloniality), migration, generation length, genetic structuring (dispersal distance), or climatic variability, after accounting for phylogeny. These results contrast previous studies, most likely due to the large heterogeneity within species in both EPP and the predictor of interest, indicating that using species averages might be unreliable. Despite the absence of broadscale ecological drivers in explaining interspecific variation in EPP, we suggest that certain behaviours and ecological variables might facilitate or constrain EPP, as indicated by our finding that EPP was negatively associated with latitude within noncolonial species, suggesting a role of breeding synchrony. Thus, rather than focussing on general explanations for variation in EPP across all species, a future focus should be on how various aspects of ecology or life history might have driven variation in EPP among groups of species or populations of the same species. Hence, we argue that variation in EPP can be partly explained when taking the right perspective. This comprehensive overview, and particularly the dataset provided herein will create a foundation for further studies.

Item ID: 71428
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-294X
Keywords: mating system, microsatellites, parentage, polyandry
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2019 The Authors. Molecular Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE130100174
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 21:27
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310405 Evolutionary ecology @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310408 Life histories @ 30%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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