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Abstract

The common eider is a colony breeding seaduck with extreme female philopatry. Molecular genetic techniques (mtDNA sequencing and microsatellite analysis) were applied on Baltic eiders to infer sex-specific dispersal and mating tactics among breeding colonies with different seasonal migration behaviour, i.e. sedentary, short distance migratory, and long distance migratory. MtDNA patterns show pronounced differentiation among colonies in maternally inherited traits. The estimated number of exchanged females per generation was 1.0-1.4. Smaller colonies showed a lower level of genetic variation in mtDNA. Microsatellite patterns suggest male-mediated gene flow to be sufficient for preventing inbreeding even in smaller colonies. However, though eiders of different geographic origin mix on wintering grounds, where mating occurs, mate choice is not random: The bias towards mates of similar geographic origin might reflect a different time of arrival at the wintering ground for eiders of different origin, together with the adaptive significance of early pair formation.

In: Behaviour

A visual audience effect in a cavefish Martin Plath 1,4) , Dennis Blum 2) , Ralph Tiedemann 2) & Ingo Schlupp 3) ( 1 Unit of Animal Ecology, Department of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Maulbeerallee 1, 14469 Potsdam, Germany; 2 Unit of Evolutionary Biology and Systematic Zoology, Department of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24–25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany; 3 Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, 730 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, USA) (Accepted: 17 January 2008) Summary Audience effects occur when an observing (by-standing) animal influences the behaviour of an observed individual. A recent study

In: Behaviour

Age-dependent mating tactics in male bushbuck ( Tragelaphus scriptus ) Ann Apio 1,2,3) , Martin Plath 2,4) , Ralph Tiedemann 2) & Torsten Wronski 5) ( 1 Makerere University, Department of Veterinary Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda; 2 Unit of Evolutionary Biology and Systematic Zoology, Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany; 4 Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, 730 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, USA; 5 Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum, Universität Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King Platz, 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany) (Accepted: 28 March 2007) Summary We

In: Behaviour

Do audience effects lead to relaxed male sexual harassment? Lisa Padur 1) , Juliane Wedekind 1) , Öznur Öztürk 2) , Bruno Streit 3) , Ralph Tiedemann 2) & Martin Plath 3,4) ( 1 University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Unit of Animal Ecology, Maulbeerallee 1, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany; 2 University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Unit of Evolutionary Biology & Systematic Zoology, Karl-Liebknecht Strasse 24–25, D-14476 Potsdam/Golm; 3 Department of Ecology & Evolution, J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt, Siesmayerstrasse 70–72, D-60054 Frankfurt am Main, Germany) (Accepted: 9 July 2009) Summary Several recent studies reported on so-called

In: Behaviour

Rates of multiple paternities were investigated in the sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna), using eight microsatellite loci. Genotyping was performed for offspring and mothers in 40 broods from four allopatric populations from the south-eastern U.S.A. along a geographic stretch of 1200 km in west-east direction and approximately 200 km from north to south. No significant differences regarding rates of multiple paternities were found between populations despite sample populations stemming from ecologically divergent habitats. Even the most conservative statistical approach revealed a minimum of 70% of the broods being sired by at least two males, with an average of 1.80-2.95 putative fathers per brood. Within broods, one male typically sired far more offspring than would be expected under an assumed equal probability of all detected males siring offspring.

In: Animal Biology