Dickens, Megan and Hartley, Ian R. (2007) Differences in parental food allocation rules : evidence for sexual conflict in the blue tit? Behavioral Ecology, 18 (4). pp. 674-679. ISSN 1465-7279Full text not available from this repository.
Evolutionary conflicts of interest between family members are expected to influence patterns of parental investment. In altricial birds, despite providing the same kind of parental care, patterns of investment in different offspring can differ between parents, a situation termed parentally biased favoritism. Previous explanations for parentally biased favoritism have received mixed theoretical and empirical support. Here, we test the prediction that in blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, females bias their food allocation rules to favor the smallest offspring during the nestling stage. By doing so, females could increase the subsequent amount of paternal care supplied by their partner during the fledging period, as a previous study showed that males feed the largest fledglings. When size differences within the brood are less pronounced, all offspring will require similar amounts of postfledging care, and thus, the male parent will lose the advantage of caring for the largest offspring that are closest to independence. In this study, we controlled the hunger of the smallest and largest nestlings in the brood and compared the food allocation rules of the 2 parents. We found that the male parent had a stronger preference than the female to feed the closest nestlings and made no distinction between nestlings based on size, whereas the female provisioned small hungry nestlings more when they were at intermediate distances from her. These differences in parental food allocation rules are consistent with predictions based on sexual conflict over postfledging parental investment.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Behavioral Ecology|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||begging ; biparental care ; Cyanistes caeruleus ; parental investment ; parentally biased favoritism ; sexual conflict.|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology|
|Departments:||Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre|
|Deposited By:||Dr Ian R Hartley|
|Deposited On:||28 May 2008 13:47|
|Last Modified:||26 Jul 2012 18:32|
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