Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches

Crino, Ondi L., Prather, Colin T., Driscoll, Stephanie C., Good, Jeffrey M. and Breuner, Creagh W. 2014, Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: biological sciences, vol. 281, no. 1795, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1266.

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Title Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches
Author(s) Crino, Ondi L.
Prather, Colin T.
Driscoll, Stephanie C.
Good, Jeffrey M.
Breuner, Creagh W.
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: biological sciences
Volume number 281
Issue number 1795
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-11-22
ISSN 1471-2954
Keyword(s) alternative reproductive tactic
developmental stress
parental care
reproductive success
zebra finch
Stress, Physiological
Summary There is increasing evidence that exposure to stress during development can have sustained effects on animal phenotype and performance across life-history stages. For example, developmental stress has been shown to decrease the quality of sexually selected traits (e.g. bird song), and therefore is thought to decrease reproductive success. However, animals exposed to developmental stress may compensate for poor quality sexually selected traits by pursuing alternative reproductive tactics. Here, we examine the effects of developmental stress on adult male reproductive investment and success in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We tested the hypothesis that males exposed to developmental stress sire fewer offspring through extra-pair copulations (EPCs), but invest more in parental care. To test this hypothesis, we fed nestlings corticosterone (CORT; the dominant avian stress hormone) during the nestling period and measured their adult reproductive success using common garden breeding experiments. We found that nestlings reared by CORT-fed fathers received more parental care compared with nestlings reared by control fathers. Consequently, males fed CORT during development reared nestlings in better condition compared with control males. Contrary to the prediction that developmental stress decreases male reproductive success, we found that CORT-fed males also sired more offspring and were less likely to rear non-genetic offspring compared with control males, and thus had greater overall reproductive success. These data are the first to demonstrate that developmental stress can have a positive effect on fitness via changes in reproductive success and provide support for an adaptive role of developmental stress in shaping animal phenotype.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.1266
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The Author(s)
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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