Effects of experimental light at night on extra-pair paternity in a songbird

Maaike de Jong (Co-auteur), Koosje P. Lamers, Mark Eugster, Jenny Q. Ouyang, Arnaud Da Silva, A. Christa Mateman, Roy H.A. Grunsven, Marcel E. Visser, Kamiel Spoelstra

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

4 Citaten (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract Light pollution is increasing worldwide and significantly affects animal behavior. In birds, these effects include advancement of morning activity and onset of dawn song, which may affect extra-pair paternity. Advanced dawn song of males may stimulate females to engage in extra-pair copulations, and the earlier activity onset may affect the males? mate guarding behavior. Earlier work showed an effect of light at night on extra-pair behavior, but this was in an area with other anthropogenic disturbances. Here, we present a two-year experimental study on effects of light at night on extra-pair paternity of great tits (Parus major). Previously dark natural areas were illuminated with white, red, and green LED lamps and compared to a dark control. In 2014, the proportion of extra-pair young in broods increased with distance to the red and white lamps (i.e., at lower light intensities), but decreased with distance to the poles in the dark control. In 2013, we found no effects on the proportion of extra-pair young. The total number of offspring sired by a male was unaffected by artificial light at night in both years, suggesting that potential changes in female fidelity in pairs breeding close to white and red light did not translate into fitness benefits for the males of these pairs. Artificial light at night might disrupt the natural patterns of extra-pair paternity, possibly negates potential benefits of extra-pair copulations and thus could alter sexual selection processes in wild birds.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)441-448
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift8-9
StatusGepubliceerd - 27 jun. 2018


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