University of Oulu

Influence of intraspecific relationships on the allocation of temporal resources in the lekking ruff, Calidris pugnax

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Author: Mustonen, Jaani1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Biology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
Pages: 56
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Mustonen, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-02-24
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Koivula, Kari
Reviewer: Orell, Markku
Kvist, Laura


Alternative Reproductive Tactics (ARTs) are utilized by animals of both sex to optimize their reproductive success in an intrasexually competitive environment where they are unable to prevail through use of the predominant tactic for obtaining mates. Often manifested as subtle differences in physical size, species where distinct genetically fixed morphological differences are associated with specific tactics are rare.

The ruff (Calidris pugnax), a lekking palearctic wader, exhibits three fixed morphs (territorial and combative “independents”, cooperative and non-aggressive “satellites” and the female mimicking “faeders”) with distinct morphologies and reproductive behaviours which have their reproductive success interwoven to one-another on the leks. This diversity creates intricate connections between the morphs and sexes, giving rise to a web of influential relationships that have not been investigated thoroughly.

These relationships were explored through utilization of stand-alone cameras to obtain precise information on the time use and reproductive success of male morphs and females and the evolution of their time investment throughout the lekking season. The degree of influence morphs and sexes exerted on the allocation of temporal resources by others through their own corresponding time investment was particularly investigated.

The gradual progress of the female receptivity eventually resulting in a rapid copulatory peak was described, as well as and the central role of the time investment by dominant males on the attractiveness of a lek, both to females and other males alike. Indications of a more complex role of the satellite males in the overall success of a lek were identified, suggesting of even greater intricacy in the connections between the morphs.

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Copyright information: © Jaani Mustonen, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.