Does testosterone mediate the trade-off between nestling begging and growth in the canary (Serinus canaria)?

Buchanan, K. L., Goldsmith, A. R., Hinde, C. A., Griffith, S. C. and Kilner, R. M. 2007, Does testosterone mediate the trade-off between nestling begging and growth in the canary (Serinus canaria)?, Hormones and behavior, vol. 52, no. 5, pp. 664-671.

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Title Does testosterone mediate the trade-off between nestling begging and growth in the canary (Serinus canaria)?
Formatted title Does testosterone mediate the trade-off between nestling begging and growth in the canary (Serinus canaria)?
Author(s) Buchanan, K. L.
Goldsmith, A. R.
Hinde, C. A.
Griffith, S. C.
Kilner, R. M.
Journal name Hormones and behavior
Volume number 52
Issue number 5
Start page 664
End page 671
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2007-12
ISSN 0018-506X
1095-6867
Keyword(s) signalling
sibling rivalry
parent-offspring conflict
fecal androgens
Summary Nestling birds solicit food from their parents with vigorous begging displays, involving posturing, jostling and calling. In some species, such as canaries, begging is especially costly because it causes a trade off against nestling growth. Fitness costs of begging like this are predicted by evolutionary theory because they function to resolve conflicts of interest within the family over the provision of parental investment. However, the mechanism that links these costs with nestling behaviour remains unclear. In the present study, we determine if the relationships between nestling androgen levels, nestling begging intensities and nestling growth rates are consistent with the hypothesis that testosterone is responsible for the trade-off between begging and growth. We test this idea with a correlational study, using fecal androgens as a non-invasive method for assaying nestling androgen levels. Our results show that fecal androgen levels are positively correlated with nestling begging intensity, and reveal marked family differences in each trait. Furthermore, changes in fecal androgen levels between 5 and 8 days after hatching are positively associated with changes in nestling begging intensity, and negatively associated with nestling growth during this time. Although these correlational results support our predictions, we suggest that that experimental manipulations are now required to test the direct or indirect role of testosterone in mediating the trade-off between begging and growth.
Language eng
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018496

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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