Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 421952
Title Song Amplitude of Rival Males Modulates the Territorial Behaviour of Great Tits During the Fertile Period of Their Mates
Author(s) Ritschard, M.; Oers, K. van; Naguib, M.; Brumm, H.
Source Ethology 118 (2012)2. - ISSN 0179-1613 - p. 197 - 202.
Department(s) Behavioural Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) extra-pair paternity - avian breeding territories - sound pressure level - parus-major - soft song - turdus-merula - signal - communication - defense - warbler
Abstract Bird song is a widely used model in the study of sexual selection. Variation in the expression of sexually selected traits is thought to reflect variation in male genetic and/or phenotypic quality. Vocal amplitude is a song parameter that has received little attention in the context of sexual selection, but there is some evidence that the intensity of bird song affects female preferences. Here, we tested whether the amplitude of broadcast song plays a role in male–male competition. We used song playback with varying song amplitude (within the natural amplitude range of the species) and a dummy bird taxidermy to simulate territorial intrusions in the great tit, Parus major, during the fertile period of the female and measured the response of the local male. The results show that playback amplitude significantly affected the subjects’ behaviour: after approaching to within 25 m around the loudspeaker, territorial males stayed longer within that perimeter after the playback of high-amplitude songs compared with low-amplitude songs. Our findings add to the small but growing body of evidence suggesting that vocal amplitude may be a sexually selected song trait.
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