Do females invest more into eggs when males sing more attractively? Postmating sexual selection strategies in a monogamous reed passerine
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2014
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 4, Issue 8, pages 1328–1339, April 2014
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2014; 4(8):1328–1339
- Issue published online: 22 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 18 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 30 OCT 2013
- VEGA. Grant Number: 02/0071/09
- Acrocephalus scirpaceus;
- egg yolk testosterone;
- male quality;
Maternal investment can play an important role for offspring fitness, especially in birds, as females have to provide their eggs with all the necessary nutrients for the development of the embryo. It is known that this type of maternal investment can be influenced by the quality of the male partner. In this study, we first verify that male song is important in the mate choice of female Eurasian reed warblers, as males mate faster when their singing is more complex. Furthermore, female egg investment varies in relation to male song characteristics. Interestingly, clutch size, egg weight, or size, which can be considered as an high-cost investment, is not influenced by male song characteristics, whereas comparably low-cost investment types like investment into diverse egg components are adjusted to male song characteristics. In line with this, our results suggest that female allocation rules depend on investment type as well as song characteristics. For example, egg white lysozyme is positively correlated with male song complexity. In contrast, a negative correlation exists between-song speed and syllable repetitiveness and egg yolk weight as well as egg yolk testosterone concentration. Thus, our results suggest that female egg investment is related to male song performance in several aspects, but female investment patterns regarding various egg compounds are not simply correlated.