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Testosterone reduces promiscuity of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) : an experimental study

Berber De Jong, Luc Lens UGent, Marco van der Velde, Peter Korsten, Ton Groothuis and Jan Komdeur (2017) ETHOLOGY. 123(1). p.69-82
abstract
In many animal species, extra-pair copulations (EPCs) are common and can increase fitness in both sexes. In males, EPCs can increase total reproductive output, whereas in females benefits of EPCs can be indirect through improving the genetic quality of their offspring. Males and females of many vertebrates show an increase in levels of the hormone testosterone (T) during the mating period. In males, T plays an important role in regulating mating behaviour including increasing their EPC rate. While much is known about the role of T in male mating behaviour, the role of T in female reproduction remains unclear. To study the influence of T on extra-pair paternity rates in females in a field setting, we created three experimental groups of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus): treated with either T, flutamide (Flu; an androgen receptor blocker) or empty implants before egg laying. Subsequently, we scored the number of extra-pair offspring (EPO) in their broods. We also assessed the attractiveness of females treated with either T or Flu to males in mate choice trials in the laboratory. The overall proportion of EPO was lower for the T-implanted group compared with the control group, whereas Flu had no effect. Given that males did not show a preference for Flu- vs. T-treated females in the mate choice trials, it appears less likely that the reduction in EPO in the T-implanted females was due to a reduction in their attractiveness. T levels may have negatively influenced EPO rate by affecting female within-pair and/or extra-pair mating behaviour. Future behavioural studies should investigate how elevated T levels reduce the number of EPO.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
EXTRA-PAIR PATERNITY, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, BUDGERIGARS, MELOPSITTACUS-UNDULATUS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, EXOGENOUS TESTOSTERONE, REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, MICROSATELLITE LOCI, COURTSHIP BEHAVIOR, SEXUAL-DIMORPHISM, MATING-BEHAVIOR, extra-pair paternity, female testosterone, female attractiveness, mate, choice, blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus
journal title
ETHOLOGY
Ethology
volume
123
issue
1
pages
69 - 82
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000390697900006
ISSN
0179-1613
1439-0310
DOI
10.1111/eth.12574
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8517919
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8517919
date created
2017-04-17 11:29:52
date last changed
2018-02-02 23:30:17
@article{8517919,
  abstract     = {In many animal species, extra-pair copulations (EPCs) are common and can increase fitness in both sexes. In males, EPCs can increase total reproductive output, whereas in females benefits of EPCs can be indirect through improving the genetic quality of their offspring. Males and females of many vertebrates show an increase in levels of the hormone testosterone (T) during the mating period. In males, T plays an important role in regulating mating behaviour including increasing their EPC rate. While much is known about the role of T in male mating behaviour, the role of T in female reproduction remains unclear. To study the influence of T on extra-pair paternity rates in females in a field setting, we created three experimental groups of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus): treated with either T, flutamide (Flu; an androgen receptor blocker) or empty implants before egg laying. Subsequently, we scored the number of extra-pair offspring (EPO) in their broods. We also assessed the attractiveness of females treated with either T or Flu to males in mate choice trials in the laboratory. The overall proportion of EPO was lower for the T-implanted group compared with the control group, whereas Flu had no effect. Given that males did not show a preference for Flu- vs. T-treated females in the mate choice trials, it appears less likely that the reduction in EPO in the T-implanted females was due to a reduction in their attractiveness. T levels may have negatively influenced EPO rate by affecting female within-pair and/or extra-pair mating behaviour. Future behavioural studies should investigate how elevated T levels reduce the number of EPO.},
  author       = {De Jong, Berber and Lens, Luc and van der Velde, Marco and Korsten, Peter and Groothuis, Ton and Komdeur, Jan},
  issn         = {0179-1613},
  journal      = {ETHOLOGY},
  keyword      = {EXTRA-PAIR PATERNITY,DARK-EYED JUNCOS,BUDGERIGARS,MELOPSITTACUS-UNDULATUS,WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS,EXOGENOUS TESTOSTERONE,REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS,MICROSATELLITE LOCI,COURTSHIP BEHAVIOR,SEXUAL-DIMORPHISM,MATING-BEHAVIOR,extra-pair paternity,female testosterone,female attractiveness,mate,choice,blue tit,Cyanistes caeruleus},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {69--82},
  title        = {Testosterone reduces promiscuity of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) : an experimental study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eth.12574},
  volume       = {123},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
De Jong, Berber, Luc Lens, Marco van der Velde, Peter Korsten, Ton Groothuis, and Jan Komdeur. 2017. “Testosterone Reduces Promiscuity of Female Blue Tits (Cyanistes Caeruleus) : an Experimental Study.” Ethology 123 (1): 69–82.
APA
De Jong, Berber, Lens, L., van der Velde, M., Korsten, P., Groothuis, T., & Komdeur, J. (2017). Testosterone reduces promiscuity of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) : an experimental study. ETHOLOGY, 123(1), 69–82.
Vancouver
1.
De Jong B, Lens L, van der Velde M, Korsten P, Groothuis T, Komdeur J. Testosterone reduces promiscuity of female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) : an experimental study. ETHOLOGY. 2017;123(1):69–82.
MLA
De Jong, Berber, Luc Lens, Marco van der Velde, et al. “Testosterone Reduces Promiscuity of Female Blue Tits (Cyanistes Caeruleus) : an Experimental Study.” ETHOLOGY 123.1 (2017): 69–82. Print.