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Experimental increase in eviction load does not impose a growth cost for cuckoo chicks

Medina, Iliana; Hall, Michelle; Taylor, Claire; Mulder, Raoul; Langmore, Naomi

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Chicks of many avian brood parasites evict their hosts’ eggs within 48 h of hatching. This behavior eliminates competition inside the nest and is beneficial for the fitness of the parasite. Several studies have proposed that this behavior is costly for the parasitic chick and may limit opportunities for cuckoos to exploit hosts with large clutch sizes. We tested whether increased eviction effort was associated with reduced growth in cuckoo chicks by artificially increasing the clutch size of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMedina, Iliana
dc.contributor.authorHall, Michelle
dc.contributor.authorTaylor, Claire
dc.contributor.authorMulder, Raoul
dc.contributor.authorLangmore, Naomi
dc.date.accessioned2019-10-14T00:08:58Z
dc.identifier.issn0340-5443
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/173751
dc.description.abstractChicks of many avian brood parasites evict their hosts’ eggs within 48 h of hatching. This behavior eliminates competition inside the nest and is beneficial for the fitness of the parasite. Several studies have proposed that this behavior is costly for the parasitic chick and may limit opportunities for cuckoos to exploit hosts with large clutch sizes. We tested whether increased eviction effort was associated with reduced growth in cuckoo chicks by artificially increasing the clutch size of superb fairy-wrens, the main host of the Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo in Australia. Contrary to theoretical predictions, chicks that evicted a larger number of eggs did not lose mass. Instead, they had higher growth rates than chicks that evicted fewer eggs. This unexpected result suggests chicks might be able to use compensatory growth to overcome the costs of egg eviction, perhaps by increasing their begging rate after evicting more eggs. Our results, combined with previous evidence, suggest that brood parasites may not be constrained by the clutch size of their hosts, resulting in a broader set of potential hosts. Furthermore, laying larger clutches might not be an effective host defense against brood parasites.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors received financial support from the Australian Research Council, DP150101652 and DP110103120 to RAM and DP110101966 to NEL.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherSpringer
dc.rights© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019
dc.sourceBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
dc.titleExperimental increase in eviction load does not impose a growth cost for cuckoo chicks
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume73
dc.date.issued2019
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9511635xPUB1900
local.publisher.urlhttps://link.springer.com
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMedina, Iliana, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHall, Michelle, University of Melbourne
local.contributor.affiliationTaylor, Claire, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMulder, Raoul, University of Melbourne
local.contributor.affiliationLangmore, Naomi, College of Science, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP150101652
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP110103120
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP110101966
local.bibliographicCitation.issue44
local.identifier.doi10.1007/s00265-019-2655-2
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2019-04-21T08:36:32Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85062970311
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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