Subtle benefits of cooperation to breeding males of the Red-backed Fairywren

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/614984
Title:
Subtle benefits of cooperation to breeding males of the Red-backed Fairywren
Author:
Potticary, Ahva L.; Dowling, Jenélle L.; Barron, Douglas G.; Baldassarre, Daniel T.; Webster, Michael S.
Affiliation:
Univ Arizona
Issue Date:
2016-04
Publisher:
AMER ORNITHOLOGISTS UNION
Citation:
Subtle benefits of cooperation to breeding males of the Red-backed Fairywren 2016, 133 (2):286 The Auk
Journal:
The Auk
Rights:
2016 American Ornithologists’ Union.
Collection Information:
This item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.
Abstract:
Cooperative breeding is a phenomenon whereby breeding and nonbreeding individuals collectively provision young. Nonbreeding group members ("helpers'') may gain indirect and/or direct fitness benefits by breeding in a group, but there has been conflicting evidence regarding the benefits to breeders. In fact, the presence of helpers may sometimes be detrimental to aspects of breeder fitness. For example, in some species of the chiefly Australian genus Malurus, breeding males with helpers have lower within-pair paternity than do males without helpers. Additionally, indirect benefits to breeding males are often limited by low relatedness to their helpers due to high extrapair paternity rates, and helpers often appear to have minimal impact on breeder reproductive success. However, the presence of helpers may allow breeding males to shift their behaviors from guarding and provisioning young to alternative behaviors that affect other components of fitness, such as extraterritory forays (which might increase extrapair mating success) and self-maintenance (which might increase survival). We investigated these possibilities in the facultatively cooperative Red-backed Fairywren (Malurus melanocephalus). Males with helpers spent significantly less time engaging in guarding behaviors and provisioning of young than did those without helpers, but there was no difference in the frequency of extrapair forays nor the number of young sired by males with vs. without helpers. Additionally, the decreased investment in nesting behaviors did not result in consistently higher survival, but may have increased survival in some years. Overall, the results of this study did not suggest any strong direct fitness benefits to breeding males, which may indicate that the costs of retaining helpers are negligible relative to the indirect benefits of helping a potentially related male.
Note:
Published March 16, 2016. All articles open access after 6 months, per publisher website.
ISSN:
0004-8038; 1938-4254
DOI:
10.1642/AUK-15-212.1
Keywords:
bird; mate-guarding; foray behavior; age-dependence; tradeoff
Version:
Final published version
Sponsors:
National Science Foundation [0818962]
Additional Links:
http://www.bioone.org/doi/10.1642/AUK-15-212.1

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPotticary, Ahva L.en
dc.contributor.authorDowling, Jenélle L.en
dc.contributor.authorBarron, Douglas G.en
dc.contributor.authorBaldassarre, Daniel T.en
dc.contributor.authorWebster, Michael S.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-29T01:05:20Z-
dc.date.available2016-06-29T01:05:20Z-
dc.date.issued2016-04-
dc.identifier.citationSubtle benefits of cooperation to breeding males of the Red-backed Fairywren 2016, 133 (2):286 The Auken
dc.identifier.issn0004-8038-
dc.identifier.issn1938-4254-
dc.identifier.doi10.1642/AUK-15-212.1-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/614984-
dc.description.abstractCooperative breeding is a phenomenon whereby breeding and nonbreeding individuals collectively provision young. Nonbreeding group members ("helpers'') may gain indirect and/or direct fitness benefits by breeding in a group, but there has been conflicting evidence regarding the benefits to breeders. In fact, the presence of helpers may sometimes be detrimental to aspects of breeder fitness. For example, in some species of the chiefly Australian genus Malurus, breeding males with helpers have lower within-pair paternity than do males without helpers. Additionally, indirect benefits to breeding males are often limited by low relatedness to their helpers due to high extrapair paternity rates, and helpers often appear to have minimal impact on breeder reproductive success. However, the presence of helpers may allow breeding males to shift their behaviors from guarding and provisioning young to alternative behaviors that affect other components of fitness, such as extraterritory forays (which might increase extrapair mating success) and self-maintenance (which might increase survival). We investigated these possibilities in the facultatively cooperative Red-backed Fairywren (Malurus melanocephalus). Males with helpers spent significantly less time engaging in guarding behaviors and provisioning of young than did those without helpers, but there was no difference in the frequency of extrapair forays nor the number of young sired by males with vs. without helpers. Additionally, the decreased investment in nesting behaviors did not result in consistently higher survival, but may have increased survival in some years. Overall, the results of this study did not suggest any strong direct fitness benefits to breeding males, which may indicate that the costs of retaining helpers are negligible relative to the indirect benefits of helping a potentially related male.en
dc.description.sponsorshipNational Science Foundation [0818962]en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherAMER ORNITHOLOGISTS UNIONen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.bioone.org/doi/10.1642/AUK-15-212.1en
dc.rights2016 American Ornithologists’ Union.en
dc.subjectbirden
dc.subjectmate-guardingen
dc.subjectforay behavioren
dc.subjectage-dependenceen
dc.subjecttradeoffen
dc.titleSubtle benefits of cooperation to breeding males of the Red-backed Fairywrenen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniv Arizonaen
dc.identifier.journalThe Auken
dc.description.notePublished March 16, 2016. All articles open access after 6 months, per publisher website.en
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.en
dc.eprint.versionFinal published versionen
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