Call for papers: measuring individual reproductive success in the wild

A few decades ago, ecologists thought that most passerines were monogamous. Molecular identification of parents dramatically changed our understanding of bird mating systems and drivers of reproductive success, but what do we know of other taxa? Measuring individual reproductive success in the wild is challenging. In most species, fathers can only be identified with molecular methods. Data on the distribution of reproductive success among males are available for only a handful of species, and lifetime data on reproductive success of either sex are rare. Yet, knowledge of the distribution of reproductive success is key to understanding mating systems, evolutionary ecology, effects of rapid environmental changes, maintenance of genetic variability and sexual selection. It is also necessary for harvest management and conservation of many species.

We invite papers that address these issues and identify continuing challenges in understanding the drivers of reproductive success in the wild. We are seeking original empirical papers, reviews and methodological papers that can meet current challenges in estimation of reproductive success. Submissions will be considered until February 1, 2022, for a Topical Article Collection in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.  

We are hoping for a wide diversity of taxa, research questions, and approaches. We encourage in particular papers that examine ecological and social determinants of reproductive success, the effects of age, lifetime variance and the importance of individual attributes such as secondary sexual traits. Papers that can account for individuals with zero reproductive success, or examine the consequences of the age at which to begin measuring success, would also be particularly welcomed. 

If you are interested in contributing, we encourage to contact one of our guest editors, Janet Mann or Marco Festa-Bianchet. We can provide a longer list of possible topics.