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 496866
Title Carry-over effects of the social environment on future divorce probability in a wild bird population
Author(s) Culina, Antica; Hinde, Camilla; Sheldon, B.C.
Source Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 282 (2015)1817. - ISSN 0962-8452 - 8 p.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0920
Department(s) Behavioural Ecology
PE&RC
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Divorce - Great tit - Mate choice - Pair formation - Social environment
Abstract

Initial mate choice and re-mating strategies (infidelity and divorce) influence individual fitness. Both of these should be influenced by the social environment, which determines the number and availability of potential partners. While most studies looking at this relationship take a population-level approach, individual-level responses to variation in the social environment remain largely unstudied. Here, we explore carry-over effects on future mating decisions of the social environment in which the initial mating decision occurred. Using detailed data on the winter social networks of great tits, we tested whether the probability of subsequent divorce, a year later, could be predicted by measures of the social environment at the time of pairing. We found that males that had a lower proportion of female associates, and whose partner ranked lower among these, as well as inexperienced breeders, were more likely to divorce after breeding. We found no evidence that a female’s social environment influenced the probability of divorce. Our findings highlight the importance of the social environment that individuals experience during initial pair formation on later pairing outcomes, and demonstrate that such effects can be delayed. Exploring these extended effects of the social environment can yield valuable insights into processes and selective pressures acting upon the mating strategies that individuals adopt.

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