Is extrapair mating random? On the probability distribution of extrapair young in avian broods

Brommer, Jon E., Korsten, Peter, Bouwman, Karen M., Berg, Matthew L. and Komdeur, Jan 2007, Is extrapair mating random? On the probability distribution of extrapair young in avian broods, Behavioral Ecology, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 895-904, doi: 10.1093/beheco/arm049.

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Title Is extrapair mating random? On the probability distribution of extrapair young in avian broods
Author(s) Brommer, Jon E.
Korsten, Peter
Bouwman, Karen M.
Berg, Matthew L.ORCID iD for Berg, Matthew L.
Komdeur, Jan
Journal name Behavioral Ecology
Volume number 18
Issue number 5
Start page 895
End page 904
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Cary, N.C.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1045-2249
Summary A dichotomy in female extrapair copulation (EPC) behavior, with some females seeking EPC and others not, is inferred if the observed distribution of extrapair young (EPY) over broods differs from a random process on the level of individual offspring (binomial, hypergeometrical, or Poisson). A review of the literature shows such null models are virtually always rejected, with often large effect sizes. We formulate an alternative null model, which assumes that 1) the number of EPC has a random (Poisson) distribution across females (broods) and that 2) the probability for an offspring to be of extrapair origin is zero without any EPC and increases with the number of EPC. Our brood-level model can accommodate the bimodality of both zero and medium rates of EPY typically found in empirical data, and fitting our model to EPY production of 7 passerine bird species shows evidence of a nonrandom distribution of EPY in only 2 species. We therefore argue that 1) dichotomy in extrapair mate choice cannot be inferred only from a significant deviation in the observed distribution of EPY from a random process on the level of offspring and that 2) additional empirical work on testing the contrasting critical predictions from the classic and our alternative null models is required.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/beheco/arm049
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Oxford University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Integrative Ecology
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