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The trade-off between molt and parental care: a sexual conflict in the blue tit?

Svensson, Erik LU and Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU (1997) In Behavioral Ecology 8(1). p.92-98
Abstract
Breeding activities and molt are generally thought to be mutually exclusive in birds since both are energetically costly and are normally separated in time. However, sometimes molt overlaps with breeding to some degree. A trade-off between adult somatic maintenance functions (feather renewal) and parental care is then to be expected. The consequences of this are largely unknown, and there are few studies that have shown any fitness costs of molt-breeding overlap. We investigated the consequences of molt-breeding overlap by removing first clutches of blue tit Parus casruleus pairs, thereby inducing late repeat clutches. Among the delayed pairs, a high proportion of males and some females started their molt already during incubation or... (More)
Breeding activities and molt are generally thought to be mutually exclusive in birds since both are energetically costly and are normally separated in time. However, sometimes molt overlaps with breeding to some degree. A trade-off between adult somatic maintenance functions (feather renewal) and parental care is then to be expected. The consequences of this are largely unknown, and there are few studies that have shown any fitness costs of molt-breeding overlap. We investigated the consequences of molt-breeding overlap by removing first clutches of blue tit Parus casruleus pairs, thereby inducing late repeat clutches. Among the delayed pairs, a high proportion of males and some females started their molt already during incubation or nestling feeding. Molting males fed their nestlings to a lesser extent than non-molting ones, and nestling mortality increased as a direct result of the early timing of male molt. Furthermore, the ability to raise an experimentally enlarged brood was negatively coupled to the molt stage of the male. Our data thus provide evidence that molt-breeding overlap leads to fitness costs, and we discuss the results within the context of sexual conflict and the implications for optimization of avian reproductive decisions (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
8
issue
1
pages
92 - 98
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/8.1.92
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7cbd4a86-b5c2-485d-afd5-4ec09e9f26cf
date added to LUP
2019-06-10 13:00:03
date last changed
2019-09-10 04:00:33
@article{7cbd4a86-b5c2-485d-afd5-4ec09e9f26cf,
  abstract     = {Breeding activities and molt are generally thought to be mutually exclusive in birds since both are energetically costly and are normally separated in time. However, sometimes molt overlaps with breeding to some degree. A trade-off between adult somatic maintenance functions (feather renewal) and parental care is then to be expected. The consequences of this are largely unknown, and there are few studies that have shown any fitness costs of molt-breeding overlap. We investigated the consequences of molt-breeding overlap by removing first clutches of blue tit Parus casruleus pairs, thereby inducing late repeat clutches. Among the delayed pairs, a high proportion of males and some females started their molt already during incubation or nestling feeding. Molting males fed their nestlings to a lesser extent than non-molting ones, and nestling mortality increased as a direct result of the early timing of male molt. Furthermore, the ability to raise an experimentally enlarged brood was negatively coupled to the molt stage of the male. Our data thus provide evidence that molt-breeding overlap leads to fitness costs, and we discuss the results within the context of sexual conflict and the implications for optimization of avian reproductive decisions},
  author       = {Svensson, Erik and Nilsson, Jan-Åke},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {92--98},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {The trade-off between molt and parental care: a sexual conflict in the blue tit?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/8.1.92},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {1997},
}