Carry-over effects of male extra-pair copulation opportunity on biparental effort in zebra finches

Hill, D.L., Lindstrom, J. and Nager, R.G. (2011) Carry-over effects of male extra-pair copulation opportunity on biparental effort in zebra finches. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 65(11), pp. 2049-2059. (doi:10.1007/s00265-011-1214-2)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-011-1214-2

Abstract

Whether parental effort can be negotiated between partners over ecological time and adjusted across different contexts is not well understood. We manipulated male extra-pair copulation (EPC) opportunity in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, to test whether males adjust incubation effort to the mating context and to examine how females respond to their partner's effort. Birds without previous breeding experience were paired randomly and bred with the same partner twice. In the first breeding attempt, half the males received EPC opportunities with 'extra-pair females' during incubation, while the other half did not. Males that received EPC opportunities in the first breeding attempt did not in the second breeding attempt and vice versa. We recorded incubation effort on days when EPC opportunities were not presented. In their first breeding attempt, males with EPC opportunities incubated less than those without. Females compensated fully for the deficit in male care so that a pair's combined incubation effort was unchanged. In the second attempt, when a male's opportunity for EPCs was switched, individuals showed the same level of incubation effort that they had previously, irrespective of the current availability of extra-pair females. This suggests that division of effort was negotiated in the first breeding attempt and maintained without significant adjustments in the second attempt. The effects of male EPC opportunity in the first breeding attempt on subsequent incubation effort suggests that individual parental decisions can be shaped by previous experience and this may partly explain conflicting results in studies where individuals' histories were not known.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lindstrom, Dr Jan and Nager, Dr Rudolf
Authors: Hill, D.L., Lindstrom, J., and Nager, R.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Publisher:Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN:0340-5443
ISSN (Online):1432-0762
Published Online:01 January 2011

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record