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Differential response by males and females to manipulation of partner contribution in the great tit (Parus major)

AuthorsSanz, Juan José ; Kranenbarg, Sander; Tinbergen, Joost M.
Keywordsbi-parental care
great tit
handicapping manipulation
parental effort
Parus major
Issue Date2000
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Animal Ecology 69: 74-84 (2000)
Abstract1. In birds with bi-parental care, handicapping is often assumed to decrease the amount of parental care of the handicapped partner. We discuss how handicapping could alter the shape of the handicapped bird's survival±e ort curve (theoretical curve relating the survival of a parent to its e ort) and show that the optimal response could yield a decrease, no response or even an increase in e ort of the handicapped bird. 2. Male or female great tits Parus major (L.) were handicapped during the nestling period by clipping a number of feathers in order to study the e ects on parental care and body condition. 3. Handicapped males signi®cantly decreased their feeding rates, while handi- capped females did not. Condition of handicapped females signi®cantly deterio- rated, while condition of handicapped males did not change during the experiment. Females with a handicapped partner fully compensated for their partner's decrease in work rate, while males with a handicapped partner did not show any compensa- tion and even tended to decrease their feeding rates. 4. Using an inverse optimality approach, we reconstructed the theoretical curve relating the survival of a parent to its e ort on the basis of the experimental e ects. The handicapped male's survival±e ort curve appeared to be slightly steeper than that of handicapped females. This suggests that handicapped males su er more from an increase in e ort than handicapped females.
Publisher version (URL)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2000.00373.x/abstract
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