No effect of partner age and lifespan on female age-specific reproductive performance in blue tits

Seyed Mehdi Amininasab, Martijn Hammers, Oscar Vedder, Jan Komdeur, Peter Korsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Studies of age-specific reproductive performance are fundamental to our understanding of population dynamics and the evolution of life-history strategies. In species with bi-parental care, reproductive ageing trajectories of either parent may be influenced by their partner's age, but this has rarely been investigated. We investigated within-individual age-specific performance (laying date and number of eggs laid) in wild female blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and evaluated how the age and longevity of their male partner indirectly influenced the females’ reproductive performance. Females showed clear age-dependence in both laying date and number of eggs laid. We found that female reproductive performance improved in early life, before showing a decline. Longer-lived females had an earlier laying date throughout their lives than shorter-lived females, but there was no difference in number of eggs laid between longer- and shorter-lived females. Within breeding pairs, the female's (age-specific) reproductive performance was not dependent on the age and longevity of the male partner. We conclude that the age and quality of the male partner may be of little importance for traits that are under direct female control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 03 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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