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About this book
About this book
Monograph on the mating systems of the dunnock or hedge sparrow/accentor Prunella modularis. Using detailed field observations and DNA fingerprinting techniques, the author describes the variable social organisation of the species, and how it arises from selfish individuals competing to maximize their own reproductive success.
Why Dunnocks?; Study species and study area; Population structure and the variable mating system; Territorial behaviour: competition for habitat and mates; Factors influencing an individual's competitive success; Mate guarding and mating: sexual conflict; Relating behaviour to maternity and paternity; Reproductive output from the different mating systems; Individual reproductive success in the various mating systems; Parental effort by males and females in pairs and trios; How males allocate effort between broods in polygyny and polygynandry; Paternity and parental effort; Parasitism by Cuckoos; Sexual conflict, parental care, and mating systems; References; Author and subject index.
236 pages, 236 pages 15 black/white photos 71 line illus
"The organization and integration of these topics makes the book useful even to those familiar with his work. It should be particularly instructive for students, because the work addresses questions typical of the general field of behavioral ecology and demonstrates the value of combining experiment and description." --Nature
"Davies' ten-year study combines theory and field observation to examine basic questions in behavioral ecology and sociobiology. His unifying theme is the relationship between gender roles and conflicts, mating systems, and parental care, which assure an adequate supply of baby dunnocks for future generations. Must reading for behavioral scientists." --Choice
"Davies summarizes a decade of work analyzing how the different mating systems of dunnocks arise and their social and reproductive consequences . . . . Provides an engaging introduction to current questions about the evolution of mating systems, a model of what can be achieved by a judicious blend o