Joint care can outweigh costs of nonkin competition in communal breeders

Bebbington, Kat, Fairfield, Eleanor, Spurgin, Lewis, Kingma, Sjouke Anne, Dugdale, Hannah, Komdeur, Jan and Richardson, David S. (2018) Joint care can outweigh costs of nonkin competition in communal breeders. Behavioral Ecology, 29 (1). 169–178. ISSN 1045-2249

[img] PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2099.

Download (423kB) | Request a copy
[img]
Preview
PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (293kB) | Preview

Abstract

Competition between offspring can greatly influence offspring fitness and parental investment decisions, especially in communal breeders where unrelated competitors have less incentive to concede resources. Given the potential for escalated conflict, it remains unclear what mechanisms facilitate the evolution of communal breeding among unrelated females. Resolving this question requires simultaneous consideration of offspring in noncommunal and communal nurseries, but such comparisons are missing. In the Seychelles warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis, we compare nestling pairs from communal nests (2 mothers) and noncommunal nests (1 mother) with singleton nestlings. Our results indicate that increased provisioning rate can act as a mechanism to mitigate the costs of offspring rivalry among nonkin. Increased provisioning in communal broods, as a consequence of having 2 female parents, mitigates any elevated costs of offspring rivalry among nonkin: per-capita provisioning and survival was equal in communal broods and singletons, but lower in noncommunal broods. Individual offspring costs were also more divergent in noncommunal broods, likely because resource limitation exacerbates differences in competitive ability between nestlings. It is typically assumed that offspring rivalry among nonkin will be more costly because offspring are not driven by kin selection to concede resources to their competitors. Our findings are correlational and require further corroboration, but may help explain the evolutionary maintenance of communal breeding by providing a mechanism by which communal breeders can avoid these costs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: offspring rivalry,relatedness,communal breeding,cooperative breeding,seychelles warbler,competition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 05:07
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 00:26
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/64915
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arx137

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item