Jul 13, 2016

Strategic adjustment of parental care: life-history trade-offs and the role of glucocorticoids

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ça?lar AkçayFran Bonier


Life history theory predicts that optimal strategies of parental investment will depend on ecological and social factors such as current brood value and offspring need. Parental care strategies are also likely to be mediated in part by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and glucocorticoid hormones. Here we present an experiment in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), a biparental songbird with wide geographic distribution, asking whether parental care is strategically adjusted in response to signals of offspring need and brood value and whether glucocorticoids are involved in these adjustments. Using an automated playback system, we carried out playbacks of nestling begging calls specifically to females in two populations differing in their brood value: a northern population in Ontario, Canada (relatively high brood value) and a southern population in North Carolina, USA (lower brood value). We quantified female offspring provisioning rates before and during playbacks and plasma corticosterone levels (cort) once during late incubation and once immediately after playbacks. Females in both populations increased feeding rates temporarily during the first two hours of playback but the increase was not sustained for the e...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Human Platelet Antigens
Glucocorticoid inhalants for obstructive airway disease
Trees (plant)
Pituitary Diseases
Glucocorticoids, Systemic
Adrenal Glands
Pituitary Hormonal Agents

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