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Begging scrambles with unequal chicks : interactions between need and competitive ability.

Parker, Geoff A. and Royle, Nick J. and Hartley, Ian R. (2002) Begging scrambles with unequal chicks : interactions between need and competitive ability. Ecology Letters, 5 (2). pp. 206-215. ISSN 1461-023X

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Abstract

When offspring compete for the attentions of provisioning parents, empirical and theoretical work has generally concluded that chicks honestly signal their "need" for resources and that parents control allocation. Here, we develop models to show that when allocation of food resources is determined by competitive begging scrambles between sibs, the offspring’s ESS begging levels, shares of food and personal fitness gained will be determined by an interaction between their competitive abilities and their true needs. Many of the predictions of this scramble competition model are qualitatively very similar to models of honest signalling of need, where parents, not offspring, control the allocation of food. Consequently it will be difficult to distinguish between the two mechanisms of food allocation based on empirical observations of the responses of chicks to feeding by parents.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Ecology Letters
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 9124
Deposited By: Dr Ian R Hartley
Deposited On: 28 May 2008 11:16
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:32
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9124

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