The paper is the result of a long-term collaboration between D. Ristow and M. Wink (Head of Department) on the ecology and biology of Cory's shearwater. Ingrid Swatschek is presently preparing her doctoral thesis on the application of DNA fingerprinting for studying colonially nesting birds. This work represents one contribution from current studies of this laboratory in which we are employing molecular methods for studies in ecology and evolution.
Mate fidelity and parentage in Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea - field studies and DNA fingerprinting
Article first published online: 14 APR 2008
Volume 3, Issue 3, pages 259–262, June 1994
How to Cite
SWATSCHEK, I., RISTOW, D. and WINK, M. (1994), Mate fidelity and parentage in Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea - field studies and DNA fingerprinting. Molecular Ecology, 3: 259–262. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.1994.tb00059.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2008
- Received 1 September 1993; revision received 9 December 1993; accepted 20 December 1993
- Calonectris diomedea;
- DNA fingerprinting;
- extrapair copulation;
- extrapair fertilization;
- mate fidelity;
- pedigree analysis
Field studies on Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea, which were carried out in a breeding colony in the Aegean Sea between 1989 and 1993, revealed that almost all breeding mates stay together over many consecutive years. Mates usually changed when one partner disappeared (e.g. through death), whereas ‘divorce’ occurred at a rate of 2.7%. Since birds are nesting at very close quarters, the potential for extrapair copulation (EPC) and subsequent extrapair fertilization (EPF) seems to be high. Multilocus DNA fingerprints were used to determine the true parentage of 46 offspring (broods contain a single chick only) from 29 pairs (few pairs were studied in two and three successive years). There were no cases of extrapair paternity.