The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird

Ekanayake, Kasun B., Weston, Michael A., Nimmo, Dale G., Maguire, Grainne S., Endler, John A. and Küpper, Clemens 2015, The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird, Proceedings of the royal society of London: biological sciences, vol. 282, no. 1806, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.3026.

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Title The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird
Author(s) Ekanayake, Kasun B.
Weston, Michael A.ORCID iD for Weston, Michael A.
Nimmo, Dale G.
Maguire, Grainne S.
Endler, John A.ORCID iD for Endler, John A.
Küpper, Clemens
Journal name Proceedings of the royal society of London: biological sciences
Volume number 282
Issue number 1806
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Royal Society, The
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-05-07
ISSN 1471-2954
Keyword(s) Charadrius
Wallace's hypothesis
adaptive parental care
natural selection
sexual dichromatism
Wallace’s hypothesis
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary Ornamentation of parents poses a high risk for offspring because it reduces cryptic nest defence. Over a century ago, Wallace proposed that sexual dichromatism enhances crypsis of open-nesting females although subsequent studies found that dichromatism per se is not necessarily adaptive. We tested whether reduced female ornamentation in a sexually dichromatic species reduces the risk of clutch depredation and leads to adaptive parental roles in the red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus, a species with biparental incubation. Males had significantly brighter and redder head coloration than females. During daytime, when visually foraging predators are active, colour-matched model males incurred a higher risk of clutch depredation than females, whereas at night there was no difference in depredation risk between sexes. In turn, red-capped plovers maintained a strongly diurnal/nocturnal division of parental care during incubation, with males attending the nest largely at night when visual predators were inactive and females incubating during the day. We found support for Wallace's conclusion that reduced female ornamentation provides a selective advantage when reproductive success is threatened by visually foraging predators. We conclude that predators may alter their prey's parental care patterns and therefore may affect parental cooperation during care.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.3026
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio Economic Objective 960807 Fresh
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Royal Society, The
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