Molecular determination of sex-ratio in Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella offspring

Pagliani, A.C., Lee, P.L.M. and Bradbury, R.B. 1999, Molecular determination of sex-ratio in Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella offspring, Journal of avian biology, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 239-244.

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Title Molecular determination of sex-ratio in Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella offspring
Author(s) Pagliani, A.C.
Lee, P.L.M.
Bradbury, R.B.
Journal name Journal of avian biology
Volume number 30
Issue number 3
Start page 239
End page 244
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 1999
ISSN 0908-8857
1600-048X
Summary Theory predicts skewed offspring sex-ratios in a range of situations in which the economics of producing the two sexes differ. Offspring sex-ratio skews in birds are relatively scarcely observed compared to other taxa. This could be because avian molecular sexing techniques, which allow young birds to be sexed, have only recently become available. Alternatively, birds may be largely constrained from adaptively manipulating the sex-ratio of their offspring. We used a recently-developed molecular sexing technique for birds to sex 420 Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella offspring from 168 clutches found in Oxfordshire. Clutch sex-ratio of the population did not depart from the expected binomial distribution, and there was no variation in clutch sex-ratio with laying date, breeding attempt, or a variety of habitat variables which were predicted to differentially affect the survival and future reproductive success of offspring of the two sexes. There was no difference in size or growth rate of the sexes and nestling mortality was not sex-biased. Hence, although we can identify possible advantages of manipulating the sex-ratio in this species, it seems not to be used as a breeding strategy. Given the lack of consistent evidence for skewed avian offspring sex-ratios, more experimental work is required to determine whether, and how, birds may adaptively manipulate their offspring sex-ratio.
Notes September
Language eng
Field of Research 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
060809 Vertebrate Biology
060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©1999, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056230

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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