Cookies Policy
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Divorce and breeding dispersal in the dunlin Calidris alpina: support for the better option hypothesis?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

Social monogamy is a rare mating system among animals, occurring commonly only in birds. In long-lived birds, pair bonds may persist for several seasons in some species, while in others mate change occurs even when both partners are still alive. Here, we test predictions from the adaptive hypotheses for divorce, using long-term data (15 years) on mate change and reproductive success in a long-lived shorebird, the dunlin Calidris alpina. We found that about one quarter of the pairs divorced (23% of 126 breeding attempts). Among the divorcing females, six changed partner more than once (one female changed partner three times). Following divorce, females dispersed longer than males. Start of egg-laying (presumably reflecting arrival time to the breeding ground), previous breeding success, and male age or size did not seem to influence the occurrence of divorce. However, females that changed mate between consecutive breeding attempts achieved higher reproductive success. Moreover, this improvement appeared independent of breeding experience. Since we were unable to detect any effect of divorce on male reproductive success, our results suggest that divorce in the dunlin is best explained by the better option hypothesis.


Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, Box 463, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Create email alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation