Lifetime reproductive success in relation to morphology in the house sparrow Passer domesticus

Authors

  • Henrik Jensen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Realfagbygget, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway;
    2. Department of Evolutionary Biology, EBC, Uppsala University, Nordbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden;
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  • Bernt-Erik SÆther,

    1. Department of Biology, Realfagbygget, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway;
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  • Thor Harald Ringsby,

    1. Department of Biology, Realfagbygget, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway;
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  • Jarle Tufto,

    1. Department of Mathematical Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
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  • Simon C. Griffith,

    1. Department of Evolutionary Biology, EBC, Uppsala University, Nordbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden;
    2. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK
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  • Hans Ellegren

    1. Department of Evolutionary Biology, EBC, Uppsala University, Nordbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden;
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Henrik Jensen, Department of Biology, Realfagbygget, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway. Tel: + 47 73596949; Fax: + 47 73591309; E-mail: henrik.jensen@bio.ntnu.no

Summary

  • 1In this study we relate variation in lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of male and female house sparrows Passer domesticus to morphological characteristics.
  • 2Our analyses demonstrated no sex-specific difference in the distribution of LRS. The variance in LRS was influenced mainly by variation in individual annual reproductive success, and to a lesser extent by variation in individual lifespan.
  • 3Phenotypic traits explained a significant proportion of the variation in LRS in males, but not in females. The effect of male morphology on LRS operated mainly through an effect on the number of recruiting daughters.
  • 4The size of the patch of black feathers on the chest of males (badge size) and male bill length were both positively associated with LRS. Lifespan and bill length were positively related and reproductive success increased with badge size. In females, number of recruiting daughters was positively related to bill length, body mass and body condition index due to the positive effect of these traits on annual production of daughters.
  • 5These results indicate that identifying factors causing the large individual variation in LRS, which is likely to be closely related to fitness, will be important to understand microevolutionary processes in this metapopulation, and hence their demographic feedbacks.

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