Data from: Cost of reproduction: a comparison of survival rates of breeding and non-breeding male ortolan buntings
Dale, Svein (2016), Data from: Cost of reproduction: a comparison of survival rates of breeding and non-breeding male ortolan buntings, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3g0r0
The cost of reproduction is expected to influence survival or future reproduction. Most previous studies have assessed cost of reproduction in relation to natural and experimental variation in number of offspring produced. The ortolan bunting Emberiza hortulana is a passerine bird species with biparental care, and the Norwegian population of the species has an extraordinarily skewed sex ratio with only about half of the males attracting a female, and therefore provides a rare opportunity to compare survival of males that have paired and bred with that of non-breeders (unpaired males), which have not paid a cost of reproduction. Results showed that survival rates of paired (65.0%) and unpaired (64.2%) males did not differ. However, when comparisons were restricted to paired males that definitely had nestlings, their survival rate (76.8%) was significantly higher than that of unpaired males, and the same was the case when comparisons were further restricted to paired males that had offspring recruiting to the population the next year (76.8% survived). Males breeding successfully are likely to be a biased subset of high quality males. In analyses of a subset of males that had bred successfully when young, there was no difference in survival of paired and unpaired individuals when these males were older. In conclusion, breeding male ortolan buntings did not appear to pay a cost of reproduction in terms of reduced survival to the next year compared to non-breeding males. These results may be explained by non-breeding males also incurring extra costs during the breeding season, and that costs of reproduction are not shared equally among sexes in the ortolan bunting and other bird species with biparental care.