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Giving offspring a head start in life: Field and experimental evidence for selection on maternal basking in a lizard

Wapstra, Erik; Uller, Tobias LU ; While, Geoffrey; Olsson, Mats and Shine, Rick (2010) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23(3). p.651-657
Abstract
The timing of birth is often correlated with offspring fitness in animals, but experimental studies that disentangle direct effects of parturition date and indirect effects mediated via variation in female traits are rare. In viviparous ectotherms, parturition date is largely driven by female thermal conditions, particularly maternal basking strategies. Our field and laboratory studies of a viviparous lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus) show that earlier-born offspring are more likely to survive through their first winter and are larger following that winter, than are later-born conspecifics. Thus, the association between parturition date and offspring fitness is causal, rather than reflecting an underlying correlation between parturition date... (More)
The timing of birth is often correlated with offspring fitness in animals, but experimental studies that disentangle direct effects of parturition date and indirect effects mediated via variation in female traits are rare. In viviparous ectotherms, parturition date is largely driven by female thermal conditions, particularly maternal basking strategies. Our field and laboratory studies of a viviparous lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus) show that earlier-born offspring are more likely to survive through their first winter and are larger following that winter, than are later-born conspecifics. Thus, the association between parturition date and offspring fitness is causal, rather than reflecting an underlying correlation between parturition date and maternal attributes. Survival selection on offspring confers a significant advantage for increased maternal basking in this species, mediated through fitness advantages of earlier parturition. We discuss the roles of environmentally imposed constraints and parent-offspring conflict in the evolution of maternal effects on parturition date. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
23
issue
3
pages
651 - 657
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:77749254698
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01924.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
02d33532-796c-4317-8c62-1e14ff995824 (old id 4739089)
date added to LUP
2014-11-11 09:56:05
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:25:18
@article{02d33532-796c-4317-8c62-1e14ff995824,
  abstract     = {The timing of birth is often correlated with offspring fitness in animals, but experimental studies that disentangle direct effects of parturition date and indirect effects mediated via variation in female traits are rare. In viviparous ectotherms, parturition date is largely driven by female thermal conditions, particularly maternal basking strategies. Our field and laboratory studies of a viviparous lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus) show that earlier-born offspring are more likely to survive through their first winter and are larger following that winter, than are later-born conspecifics. Thus, the association between parturition date and offspring fitness is causal, rather than reflecting an underlying correlation between parturition date and maternal attributes. Survival selection on offspring confers a significant advantage for increased maternal basking in this species, mediated through fitness advantages of earlier parturition. We discuss the roles of environmentally imposed constraints and parent-offspring conflict in the evolution of maternal effects on parturition date.},
  author       = {Wapstra, Erik and Uller, Tobias and While, Geoffrey and Olsson, Mats and Shine, Rick},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {651--657},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Giving offspring a head start in life: Field and experimental evidence for selection on maternal basking in a lizard},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01924.x},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2010},
}