Environmental and not maternal effects determine variation in offspring phenotypes in a passerine bird

Mainwaring, Mark C. and Dickens, Megan and Hartley, Ian R. (2010) Environmental and not maternal effects determine variation in offspring phenotypes in a passerine bird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23 (6). pp. 1302-1311. ISSN 1420-9101

Full text not available from this repository.


Maternal and environmental effects can profoundly influence offspring phenotypes, independent of genetic effects. Within avian broods, both the asymmetric post-hatching environment created by hatching asynchrony and the differential maternal investment through the laying sequence have important consequences for individual nestlings in terms of the allocation of resources to body structures with different contributions to fitness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of post-hatching environmental and maternal effects in generating variation in offspring phenotypes. First, an observational study showed that within blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, broods, late-hatched nestlings allocated resources to tarsus development, maintained mass gain and head-bill growth and directed resources away from the development of fourth primary feathers. Second, a hatching order manipulation experiment resulted in nestlings from first-laid eggs hatching last, thereby allowing comparison with both late and early-hatched nestlings. Experimental nestlings had growth patterns which were closer to late-hatched nestlings, suggesting that within-brood growth patterns are determined by post-hatching environmental effects. Therefore, we conclude that post-hatching environmental effects play an important role in generating variation in offspring phenotypes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/ge
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 33939
Deposited By: Dr Ian R Hartley
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2010 14:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 06:37
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/33939

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item