Female extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous systems is predicted to cause cuckolded socially-paired males to conditionally reduce paternal care, causing selection against extra-pair reproduction and underlying polyandry. However, existing models and empirical studies have not explicitly considered that cuckolded males might be related to their socially-paired female and/or to her extra-pair mate, and therefore be related to extra-pair offspring that they did not sire but could rear. Selection against paternal care, and hence against extra-pair reproduction, might then be weakened. We derive metrics that quantify allele-sharing between within-pair and extra-pair offspring and their mother and her socially-paired male in terms of coefficients of kinship and inbreeding. We use song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) paternity and pedigree data to quantify these metrics, and thereby quantify the joint effects of extra-pair reproduction and inbreeding on a brood's total allelic value to its socially-paired parents. Cuckolded male song sparrows were almost always detectably related to extra-pair offspring they reared. Consequently, although brood allelic value decreased substantially following female extra-pair reproduction, this decrease was reduced by within-pair and extra-pair reproduction among relatives. Such complex variation in kinship within nuclear families should be incorporated into models considering coevolutionary dynamics of extra-pair reproduction, parental care, and inbreeding.
- paternal investment
- sexual conflict