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Successful breeding predicts divorce in plovers

Halimubieke, N and Kupán, K and Valdebenito, JO and Kubelka, V and Carmona-Isunza, MC and Burgas, D and Catlin, D and St Clair, JJH and Cohen, J and Figuerola, J and Yasué, M and Johnson, M and Mencarelli, M and Cruz-López, M and Stantial, M and Weston, MA and Lloyd, P and Que, P and Montalvo, T and Bansal, U and McDonald, GC and Liu, Y and Kosztolányi, A and Székely, T (2020) Successful breeding predicts divorce in plovers. In: Scientific Reports, 10 (1).

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-72521-6


When individuals breed more than once, parents are faced with the choice of whether to re-mate with their old partner or divorce and select a new mate. Evolutionary theory predicts that, following successful reproduction with a given partner, that partner should be retained for future reproduction. However, recent work in a polygamous bird, has instead indicated that successful parents divorced more often than failed breeders (Halimubieke et al. in Ecol Evol 9:10734�10745, 2019), because one parent can benefit by mating with a new partner and reproducing shortly after divorce. Here we investigate whether successful breeding predicts divorce using data from 14 well-monitored populations of plovers (Charadrius spp.). We show that successful nesting leads to divorce, whereas nest failure leads to retention of the mate for follow-up breeding. Plovers that divorced their partners and simultaneously deserted their broods produced more offspring within a season than parents that retained their mate. Our work provides a counterpoint to theoretical expectations that divorce is triggered by low reproductive success, and supports adaptive explanations of divorce as a strategy to improve individual reproductive success. In addition, we show that temperature may modulate these costs and benefits, and contribute to dynamic variation in patterns of divorce across plover breeding systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Research
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: article; breeding; divorce; divorced person; expectation; female; follow up; human; male; nesting; progeny; reproductive success; season; theoretical study; treatment failure
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2021 07:36
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 05:52
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/66741

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