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1 January 2002 GENETIC PARENTAGE AND MATE GUARDING IN THE ARCTIC-BREEDING WESTERN SANDPIPER
Donald Blomqvist, Bart Kempenaers, Richard B. Lanctot, Brett K. Sandercock
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Abstract

Extrapair copulations and fertilizations are common among birds, especially in passerines. So far, however, few studies have examined genetic mating systems in socially monogamous shorebirds. Here, we examine parentage in the Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri). Given that Western Sandpipers nest at high densities on the Arctic tundra, have separate nesting and feeding areas, and show high divorce rates between years, we expected extrapair paternity to be more common in this species compared to other monogamous shorebirds. However, DNA fingerprinting of 98 chicks from 40 families revealed that only 8% of broods contained young sired by extrapair males, and that 5% of all chicks were extrapair. All chicks were the genetic offspring of their social mothers. We found that males followed females more often than the reverse. Also, cuckolded males were separated from their mates for longer than those that did not lose paternity. Although these results suggest a role for male mate guarding, we propose that high potential costs in terms of reduced paternal care likely constrain female Western Sandpipers from seeking extrapair copulations.

Donald Blomqvist, Bart Kempenaers, Richard B. Lanctot, and Brett K. Sandercock "GENETIC PARENTAGE AND MATE GUARDING IN THE ARCTIC-BREEDING WESTERN SANDPIPER," The Auk 119(1), 228-233, (1 January 2002). https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119[0228:GPAMGI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 11 January 2001; Accepted: 17 July 2001; Published: 1 January 2002
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