Species divergence in offspring begging intensity: Difference in need or manipulation of parents?
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 274, no 1612, 1003-1008 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Conflicts over the delivery and sharing of food among family members are expected to lead to evolution of exaggerated offspring begging for food. Coevolution between offspring begging intensity and parent response depends on the genetic architecture of the traits involved. Given a genetic correlation between offspring begging intensity and parental response, there may be fast and arbitrary divergence in these behaviours between populations. However, there is limited knowledge about the genetic basis of offspring solicitation and parental response and whether these traits are genetically correlated. In this study, we performed a partial cross-fostering experiment of young between pied and collared flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca and Ficedula albicollis) and recorded the behaviour of individual offspring and their (foster)parents. We found that nestling collared flycatchers reached a higher phenotypic quality, estimated both as mass at fledging and as intensity of their T-lymphocyte-mediated immune response when raised by heterospecific foster parents. However, although collared flycatchers begged relatively more intensively, we found no evidence of corresponding higher resistance (i.e. lower feeding rate) of adult collared flycatchers than of adult pied flycatchers. Thus, the difference in offspring begging intensity between the two species seems not to be a result of a difference in escalation of the parent–offspring conflict. Instead, the species' divergence in exaggeration of offspring begging intensity ‘honestly’ matches a difference between the species in offspring need. This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that the difference in begging intensity between the two species increased as the season progressed, coinciding with the higher sensitivity of nestling collared flycatchers to the seasonal decline in food availability. Thus, the behavioural differentiation appears to be a direct consequence of a life-history differentiation (offspring growth patterns).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 274, no 1612, 1003-1008 p.
parent–offspring conflict, sibling competition, collared flycatcher, pied flycatcher, interspecific competition, life-history trade-off
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-13288DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0255ISI: 000244375600014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-13288DiVA: diva2:41058