Alloparental care increases mating success
When individuals defend and care for young that are not their own (alloparental care), it raises the question of what benefits might lead to the evolution and persistence of such care. Here, we examine how male and female preferences affect the direct benefits of alloparental care. In the tessellated darter, alloparental care by some males often follows nest abandonment by others (Stiver KA, Wolff S, Alonzo SH, in preparation). We hypothesize that alloparental care may have evolved due to mating benefits: Alloparental care could be favored if females prefer to breed at nests that contain eggs. We found that, on average, males and females prefer nests with young eggs to those without eggs. Consequently, although young eggs increase the attractiveness of the nest, this positive effect is lost as the age of the eggs on the nest increases. We also found that alloparental care is costly in terms of future potential mating success as the amount of new eggs deposited in a nest decreases as nests become more filled. Therefore, alloparental males may initially increase their attractiveness to females by defending nests with another male's eggs but still potentially gain fewer eggs relative to those received by males defending empty nests. Our findings shed light on the evolution of alloparental care in the tessellated darter, suggesting that female mating preferences may underlie this well-documented cooperative relationship between males. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:206-211. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.