The Function And Early Ontogeny Of Individual Variation In Conspicuous Begging Behavior In A Passerine Bird

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/338958
Title:
The Function And Early Ontogeny Of Individual Variation In Conspicuous Begging Behavior In A Passerine Bird
Author:
Gurguis, Christopher Ignatius
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Increasingly, individual variation is being recognized as an important influence on behavioral evolution. Sources of variation are therefore an important target for research into the development, evolution, and function of behavior. By providing information about the timescale on which individuals are responsive to their environment, patterns of within-individual variation can shed light on function of behavioral variation. Here, I wanted to understand the function of behavioral variation and the genetic and environmental sources of variation in behavior. First, I test the hypotheses that variation in begging signals nestling hunger, need, or quality. Hunger is a short-term response to food deprivation, while need and quality give long-term information about fitness benefits of gaining more food and fitness potential, respectively. Second, I test the hypotheses that variation in begging is due to genetic, permanent environment, common environmental, and maternal effects. I test these hypotheses in the begging behavior of western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana), making repeated measurements across the nestling period. I show that begging behavior is consistent across the nestling period, and that nestling begging intensity increases with food deprivation. Nestlings fed during a given parental visit beg at higher intensity than nestmates, and on average wait longer since their last meal compared to individuals who were not fed in the same visit. These results support the hypothesis that variation in nestling begging signals hunger. I also show that responsiveness to food deprivation is negatively related to condition, but this effect is not consistent across the nestling period. Finally, variation in begging is produced by a common environmental effect that is correlated through time, suggesting that begging is strongly influenced by the nest environment. Together, these results indicate that variation in begging signals short-term changes in hunger and that environmental effects dominate the production of variation in begging.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
behavioral ecology; behavioral evolution; function; quantitative genetics; behavioral development; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Degree Name:
M.S.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Duckworth, Renee A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleThe Function And Early Ontogeny Of Individual Variation In Conspicuous Begging Behavior In A Passerine Birden_US
dc.creatorGurguis, Christopher Ignatiusen_US
dc.contributor.authorGurguis, Christopher Ignatiusen_US
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIncreasingly, individual variation is being recognized as an important influence on behavioral evolution. Sources of variation are therefore an important target for research into the development, evolution, and function of behavior. By providing information about the timescale on which individuals are responsive to their environment, patterns of within-individual variation can shed light on function of behavioral variation. Here, I wanted to understand the function of behavioral variation and the genetic and environmental sources of variation in behavior. First, I test the hypotheses that variation in begging signals nestling hunger, need, or quality. Hunger is a short-term response to food deprivation, while need and quality give long-term information about fitness benefits of gaining more food and fitness potential, respectively. Second, I test the hypotheses that variation in begging is due to genetic, permanent environment, common environmental, and maternal effects. I test these hypotheses in the begging behavior of western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana), making repeated measurements across the nestling period. I show that begging behavior is consistent across the nestling period, and that nestling begging intensity increases with food deprivation. Nestlings fed during a given parental visit beg at higher intensity than nestmates, and on average wait longer since their last meal compared to individuals who were not fed in the same visit. These results support the hypothesis that variation in nestling begging signals hunger. I also show that responsiveness to food deprivation is negatively related to condition, but this effect is not consistent across the nestling period. Finally, variation in begging is produced by a common environmental effect that is correlated through time, suggesting that begging is strongly influenced by the nest environment. Together, these results indicate that variation in begging signals short-term changes in hunger and that environmental effects dominate the production of variation in begging.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectbehavioral ecologyen_US
dc.subjectbehavioral evolutionen_US
dc.subjectfunctionen_US
dc.subjectquantitative geneticsen_US
dc.subjectbehavioral developmenten_US
dc.subjectEcology & Evolutionary Biologyen_US
thesis.degree.nameM.S.en_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEcology & Evolutionary Biologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDuckworth, Renee A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDuckworth, Renee A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWalsh, James Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWiens, John J.en_US
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