Correlated evolution in parental care in females but not males in response to selection on paternity assurance behaviour

M.L. Head, C.A. Hinde, A.J. Moore, N.J. Royle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to classical parental care theory males are expected to provide less parental care when offspring in a brood are less likely to be their own, but empirical evidence in support of this relationship is equivocal. Recent work predicts that social interactions between the sexes can modify co-evolution between traits involved in mating and parental care as a result of costs associated with these social interactions (i.e. sexual conflict). In burying beetles (Nicrophorus espilloides), we use artificial selection on a paternity assurance trait, and crosses within and between selection lines, to show that selection acting on females, not males, can drive the co-evolution of paternity assurance traits and parental care. Males do not care more in response to selection on mating rate. Instead, patterns of parental care change as an indirect response to costs of mating for females. Keywords: Parental care, sexual conflict, co-evolution, artificial selection, Nicrophorus vespilloides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-810
JournalEcology Letters
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • nicrophorus-vespilloides
  • burying beetles
  • interacting phenotypes
  • sexual selection
  • sperm competition
  • biparental care
  • investment
  • conflict
  • tactics
  • success

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