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Sibling competition and the evolution of growth rates in birds.

Royle, Nick J. and Hartley, Ian R. and Owens, I. P. F. and Parker, G. A. (1999) Sibling competition and the evolution of growth rates in birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266 (1422). pp. 923-932. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Variation among bird species in growth rates is traditionally attributed to differences in energy availability and developmental mode. However, the extent and form of competition among siblings for limited food resources may also be an important determinant. Kin-selection-based models of intrabrood competition suggest that nestling growth rates should be highest in those species in which siblings are likely to be less genetically related to one another (half-sibs rather than full-sibs). We test this novel prediction using the frequency of multiple paternity as an index of average sib relatedness within broods. As predicted, we find a significant positive association between the rate of multiple paternity within broods and nestling growth rates. Furthermore, this holds true when we control for the effects of variation in other factors that may be associated with variation in growth rate, such as body size, brood size, mating system and the form of parental care. We suggest, therefore, that variation in growth rate among bird species is not simply dependent on proximate ecological and developmental factors but is also strongly influenced by interactions, over an evolutionary time-scale, among kin.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 9142
Deposited By: Dr Ian R Hartley
Deposited On: 28 May 2008 11:14
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2014 14:24
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9142

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