Who wears the pants in a mute swan pair? Deciphering the effects of male and female age and identity on breeding success
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 82, Issue 4, pages 826–835, July 2013
How to Cite
Auld, J. R., Perrins, C. M., Charmantier, A. (2013), Who wears the pants in a mute swan pair? Deciphering the effects of male and female age and identity on breeding success. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82: 826–835. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12043
- Issue published online: 13 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUL 2012
- U.S. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Grant Number: NSF #EF-0905606
- Agence Nationale de la Recherche. Grant Number: ANR-08-JCJC-0041-01
- clutch size;
- laying date;
- Traditionally, many breeding traits (e.g. the timing and size of clutches) were considered to be female-only traits in that males played little-to-no role in their expression. Although the contribution of males to such breeding traits, as well as other aspects of reproduction, is increasingly recognized, few studies have demonstrated the effects of male age and life history on breeding traits and, importantly, whether these effects are underlined by additive-genetic variation.
- Here, we take advantage of a long-term data set on mute swans (Cygnus olor) to demonstrate that the ages of both the male and female parents play significant roles in the timing and size of clutches, although recruitment success did not show similar effects. Individual males varied significantly in their influence on the timing of egg laying.
- We decomposed this variation using an ‘animal model’; competing models that were the source of this variation as additive-genetic or permanent-environmental variation was not statistically distinguishable.
- Our results add to the growing evidence that reproductive performance should be considered as a product of the identity and condition of both parents.