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Prolactin, body condition and the cost of good parenting: an interyear study in a long-lived seabird, Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera)

O'Dwyer, T.W, Buttemer, W. A. and Priddel, D. M. 2006, Prolactin, body condition and the cost of good parenting: an interyear study in a long-lived seabird, Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera), Functional ecology, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 806-811, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01168.x.

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Title Prolactin, body condition and the cost of good parenting: an interyear study in a long-lived seabird, Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera)
Author(s) O'Dwyer, T.W
Buttemer, W. A.
Priddel, D. M.
Journal name Functional ecology
Volume number 20
Issue number 5
Start page 806
End page 811
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2006-10
ISSN 0269-8463
1365-2435
Keyword(s) Chick condition
parental quality
reproductive success
Summary 1. The pituitary hormone prolactin is thought to play an important role in the promotion of parental care in birds and mammals. The level of care parents provide is, however, likely to be influenced by additional factors, such as their physiological condition at the time of breeding.

2. We examined relationships between parental body condition, plasma prolactin levels and reproductive performance in Gould's Petrels (Pterodroma leucoptera), a long-lived seabird. We predicted that parental body condition would correlate positively with both prolactin level and parenting intensity, as measured by the quality of the chick they produced. We also examined the effects of parenting intensity on parental body condition and reproductive success in the subsequent breeding season.

3. Body condition of male parents positively correlated with prolactin levels at the start of their second protracted incubation bout. The body condition of both parents correlated positively with the body condition of their chick at its peak mass. However, producing a good-quality chick did not negatively affect parental body condition or reproductive success the following year.

4. These results suggest that prolactin reinforces parental behaviour in parents in good body condition, which facilitates production of good-quality chicks. Moreover, good-quality parents consistently produce good-quality chicks with no apparent trade-off to their physical condition.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01168.x
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006 The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020905

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