Prenatal environmental effects match offspring begging to parental provisioning

Hinde, Camilla A., Buchanan, Katherine L. and Kilner, Rebecca M. 2009, Prenatal environmental effects match offspring begging to parental provisioning, Royal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences, vol. 276, no. 1668, pp. 2787-2794, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0375.

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Title Prenatal environmental effects match offspring begging to parental provisioning
Author(s) Hinde, Camilla A.
Buchanan, Katherine L.ORCID iD for Buchanan, Katherine L.
Kilner, Rebecca M.
Journal name Royal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Volume number 276
Issue number 1668
Start page 2787
End page 2794
Total pages 8
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0962-8452
Keyword(s) parental care
maternal effects
parental effects
indirect genetic effects
parent–offspring conflict
egg hormones
Summary The solicitation behaviours performed by dependent young are under selection from the environment created by their parents, as well as wider ecological conditions. Here we show how mechanisms acting before hatching enable canary offspring to adapt their begging behaviour to a variable post-hatching world. Cross-fostering experiments revealed that canary nestling begging intensity is positively correlated with the provisioning level of their own parents (to foster chicks). When we experimentally increased food quality before and during egg laying, mothers showed higher faecal androgen levels and so did their nestlings, even when they were cross-fostered before hatching to be reared by foster mothers that had been exposed to a standard regime of food quality. Higher parental androgen levels were correlated with greater levels of post-hatching parental provisioning and (we have previously shown) increased faecal androgens in chicks were associated with greater begging intensity. We conclude that androgens mediate environmentally induced plasticity in the expression of both parental and offspring traits, which remain correlated as a result of prenatal effects, probably acting within the egg. Offspring can thus adapt their begging intensity to variable family and ecological environments.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2009.0375
Field of Research 060303 Biological Adaptation
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, The Royal Society
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